Disappointing results but club spirit good
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.