Swifts up their game with home win

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

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

WaiBOP Cham­pi­onship

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):

this week­end

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.

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