Swifts up their game with home win
Two Swifts sides were back in action on Saturday, as the Matamata Domain hosted another WaiBOP Premiership/ WaiBOP Championship double-header.
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 3-1 Otumoetai
WaiBOP Premiership The Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts bounced back from their opening day defeat in the best possible way, by recording a solid home victory over one of this season’s more favoured sides, Otumoetai.
Led by a Ronan Costello double, and capped by a Lawrence Clothier wonder strike, the Swifts were well worth their victory against experienced, physical opponents.
At the start, however, things didn’t go quite to plan.
For the second week in a row the Swifts went behind during the opening seconds when they had a couple of goes to clear a corner, only to see the visitors bundle the ball home. This week, though, the response couldn’t have been more different.
Costello snuck the ball home on 15 minutes to level things up and, while Otumoetai probably just shaded the first half, the mistakes that proved so costly for the Swifts last week were absent. That meant Matamata could enter the break still well in the game and they took advantage moments after the re-start.
Virtually straight from the kickoff the Swifts burst forward and captain Dwayne Signal found himself in space down the right. He drilled a cross to the far post where Costello ghosted in to nod the ball home and give his side the lead.
The goal came at the perfect time for the Swifts, giving them the platform to build towards victory.
The visitors were less of a threat in the second half, although several times they looked likely to get in behind the Swifts back four.
When they did, however, they couldn’t find the necessary quality to threaten Jordan Wise in the Swifts goal.
When substitute Clothier drilled the Swifts third goal in from way out wide, the Swifts could finally breathe a bit easier, knowing the three points were virtually in the bank.
Stand- out performers for Matamata were Costello and midfielder, Scott Parsonage, while two more Swifts youngsters, Joe Tompsett and Logan Allen were handed starting debuts and they didn’t look out of place in a good all-round Swifts’ effort.
Matamata Swifts Reserves 2-2 Te Puke
The Swifts reserves recovered from a two-goal halftime deficit on Saturday, to snatch a point from a Te Puke side considered to be dark horses for promotion from this season’s Championship.
Te Puke were stronger at the start against the young Swifts reserves and took the lead just moments after Shaun Richardson had hit the cross bar. The goal was a soft one, coming from a header following a free kick that should have been cleared. The visitors doubled their lead before the break giving the reserves a stiff second half test, but they responded well.
Luis John showed excellent composure just after the hour mark to carry the ball past a defender, round the keeper and slide the ball home. Then Lawrence Clothier capped a fine move down the right when he levelled the game from close range with 10 minutes remaining.
With the visitor’s tiring, the young Matamata legs could have taken the reserves to a seemingly unlikely victory. However, the side had to settle for a point and the knowledge that as players they are rapidly becoming more comfortable at this level.
Fixtures for (April 11/12):
Papamoa v Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts, Gordon Spratt Park, 2.45pm; Te Awamutu v Swifts Reserves, Te Awamutu Stadium, 2.45pm – both Saturday; Te Awamutu v Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies, Te Awamutu Stadium, 11am – Sunday.
Lawrence Clothier scored the Swifts reserves’ equaliser against Te Puke, then came off the bench to score Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts’ third goal in their 3-1 win over Otumoetai.