Dis­ap­point­ing re­sults but club spirit good

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By JONATHAN CROOK

This re­port might be a short one, as it was a tough week across the board as the Mata­mata Do­main hosted an­other three games. Once again, there was great sup­port at all three events, but the qual­ity of football largely failed to live up to the qual­ity of the fans.

The Stan­ley Group Mata­mata Swifts played a rare Sun­day game at home as they wel­comed one of the league favourites, AFC Fury, back­ing up from a Chatham Cup match on An­zac Day.

It was al­ways likely to be a tough match, but the Swifts were keen to de­fend their home field.

The match started evenly as both teams were given time on the ball. Chances were limited but the game was be­ing played at a high tempo.

Once again, it was Jamie Bax­ter from the dead ball sit­u­a­tion who was the first to threaten the goal, his long range ef­fort can­non­ing back off the cross bar with the Fury keeper beaten.

How­ever, it was Fury who would strike first and, as has been the bane of the Swifts’ side early this sea­son, it was the counter at­tack which did the dam­age.

A quick move down the right flank saw the Fury striker find time and space in the box and he made no mis­take, slot­ting the ball in­side the right-hand up­right.

The Swifts con­tin­ued to press on af­ter this set­back and the game still ap­peared evenly poised.

Just as it looked like it was go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing bat­tle, the big turn­ing point of the match oc­curred. A ball played be­hind the Swifts de­fence ap­peared to be kicked out of the Swifts’ keeper’s hands.

How­ever, it was the en­su­ing tus­sle for the loose ball which drew the at­ten­tion of the ref­eree, who awarded a penalty to the Fury.

Some jus­tice ap­peared to be done as the spot-kick was saved, but Mata­mata joy was short-lived as the ref­eree de­cided that the keeper had moved from his line and or­dered a re­take. There was no mis­take the sec­ond time around. A lack in con­cen­tra­tion fol­low­ing the penalty let the Fury in again to make it 3-0.

The start of the sec­ond half saw a glim­mer of hope for the Swifts as a Fury hand ball in the box gave Ben Wat­son a chance from the penalty spot. His pow­er­ful shot made the scores 3-1. Mata­mata lifted their game and con­tin­ued to look danger­ous, man­ag­ing to put pres­sure on the op­po­si­tion with­out ever quite man­ag­ing to find the sec­ond goal which would have re­ally have caused some nerves in the Fury camp.

The Fury them­selves still looked danger­ous, hav­ing one headed goal dis­al­lowed for off­side. But it is the mark of a qual­ity side to add pad­ding to the score­line when the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self. And that is what they did, two goals later giv­ing the Fury a 5-1 vic­tory.

In the other games of the week­end, the re­sults were lit­tle bet­ter.

The Vossen Builders Fed­er­a­tion 2 side once again strug­gled with a young side, HRFC Club, who ran out 8-0 vic­tors.

The Chal­lenge ladies’ side also strug­gled with a quick Cam­bridge XI and lost 10-0.

So not the most pleas­ing of week­ends in terms of suc­cess on the park, but still some great signs off the park. Sup­port at the club in­ter­nally, and from the com­mu­nity in gen­eral, has been high, and the feel­ing is good.

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