Swifts fin­ish sea­son with draw at home

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - DWAYNE BAR­LOW

Waikato Stud Mata­mata Swifts com­pleted an en­cour­ag­ing 2016 Loaded WaiBOP Premier­ship cam­paign with an en­gag­ing draw at the Do­main against cham­pi­ons, Ngongo­taha.

Both teams were miss­ing reg­u­lar starters and that, com­bined with the wet, sticky con­di­tions could have led to a drab match. But both teams brought at­tack­ing in­tent and a will to win which led to an open, en­ter­tain­ing fi­nal match of the premier­ship cam­paign.

The Swifts took the lead on 18 min­utes when Chris Walker slot­ted home, then dou­bled their lead 15 min­utes later through Ben Vogt.

To this point, Mata­mata had looked com­fort­able, with the vis­i­tors look­ing oc­ca­sion­ally dan­ger­ous on the counter. But they struck back al­most im­me­di­ately and the Swifts headed to the break with a slen­der lead.

Mata­mata worked an ex­cel­lent pass­ing move which led to Vogt’s sec­ond goal ten min­utes into the sec­ond half and at that point the Swifts looked like end­ing Ngongo­taha’s sea­son-long un­beaten record and gain­ing the win they need to fin­ish sec­ond on the Premier­ship ta­ble.

But Ngongo­taha have scored over 100 goals this sea­son, so more were al­ways likely. They re­duced the mar­gin again with 20 min­utes left be­fore Mata­mata goalie, Jor­dan Wise, was forced from the field af­ter a brave save at the feet of a Ngongo­taha at­tacker.

Ngongo­taha got the equaliser a minute into the ex­tended pe­riod of added time. Both sides pushed for a win­ner but a high scor­ing draw was a fair re­sult af­ter an en­ter­tain­ing game. It meant Mata­mata main­tained their un­beaten home record while it was only the sec­ond time all sea­son Ngongo­taha had dropped points.

The Swifts fin­ished level on points with 2015 cham­pi­ons, Cam­bridge, but third on goal dif­fer- ence.

In the early game, Richard­son Rac­ing Sta­bles Swifts re­serves were held to a 2-2 draw by Ngongo­taha’s re­serves.

Goals from Hardeep Singh and Joe Tompsett had Mata­mata cruis­ing at the break, be­fore the vis­i­tors hit back twice in the early stages of the sec­ond half.

Both sides pressed for a win­ner but couldn’t find it and in the end it was a re­sult that summed up Mata­mata’s sea­son.

They cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties and had more of the game but couldn’t fin­ish their op­po­nents off.

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