Swifts topple defending champions
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts have beaten 2015 champions, Cambridge, 2-1 in a tight contest away from home to maintain third spot in the Waikato Bay of Plenty’s top football league.
The Swifts’ victory was built on a strong defensive showing against one of the league’s top scoring teams, with only a controversial free kick on halftime blotting the team’s copy book.
Before that, however, Matamata hadlooked good going forward, albeit in a match of few true scoring chances.
Chris Walker, in his first start for the Swifts, opened the scoring just inside 20 minutes when he capitalised on a defensive blunder to roll the ball into an empty net.
With Matamata missing a number of regular starters Walker, and several others, were thrust into this derby contest and responded well.
Jordane Lambert drew his usual number of fouls during the first half as he and Walker probed the Cambridge defence off the back of a strong showing from Matamata’s midfield.
The equaliser was a blow, coming as it did so close to the break, but the team responded well during the second half.
Matamata had to deal with a barrage of long balls during the early and mid-stages of the second half as Cambridge forced a number set-pieces.
But the newly put together back four, along with keeper Jordan Wise, didn’t buckle.
The team’s defensive heroics were rewarded with less than ten minutes to go when, following a corner, the Cambridge goalie threw the ball into his own net under pressure from Dwayne Signal.
This was Matamata’s first win in Cambridge since 2010 and moved the team to within three points of the top of the table.
On Sunday, Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies didn’t fare quite as well in Cambridge, losing 4-0 to one of the Waikato league’s top sides.
Kerrie Coxand Zoe Reichardt combined well in midfield while Heather Ward was superb in goal.
The Swifts Under-13s also lost on Sunday, 3-0 at top side Northern United, but they weren’t disgraced in holding the leaders, who were averaging seven goals a game, goalless at the break.
Gary Dobson was part of the Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts back four that performed well during his team’s 2-1 win at Cambridge.