By Paul Tandy
The hosts got the game underway and were the first to show their intent in the 11th minute, a long ball down the right was met by Tom English who skipped over a sliding taking by Jamie Wallace and into the box, from an acute angle English tried to loft the ball over Andy Hall but Hall was quick off his mark to parry the ball away for a corner kick.
21st minute and the Dockers paring of Glen Golby and Manlee Brown resulted in Brown’s effort well saved by the hosts keeper Jamie Bowyer.
The game contested in midfield for long periods, both sides cancelling out each other’s attempts on goal.
The deadlock broken in the 40th minute, by the Swifts No 11 Steven Bourne – who was first to react inside the Dockers area, Bourne connected before being challenged to sweep the ball into the net from close range.
5 minutes later it all goes wrong for the Dockers, a nodded back pass by Jamie Wallace lacked pace which allowed Swifts front man Tom English enough time to latch onto the ball and round Andy Hall to make it 2-0 at the break.
Into the second period and the Dockers quick off the mark in the 46th minute, a ball in from Daniel Smith on to the head of Manlee Brown who connects well but the Swifts keeper down low at the near post to a competent save and out for a corner kick.
A double substitution for the Dockers, Donny Barnard and Lee Hodges, on for Ben Bradbury who looked to be carrying a foot injury and Bradley Barnes leave the field.
58th minute and further woe for the Dockers as Jack Mead goes through a pack of Tilbury shirts to slot home, 3-0 to Heybridge.
62 minutes gone and Tilbury attack, Tilbury substitute Lee Hodges works his way into the box and is upended in a soft challenge, as the experienced Hodges tumbles to the floor and awarded a penalty! Tilbury Skipper Jamie Wallace steps up to blast the ball past Jamie Bowyer to make the score 3-1.
4 minutes later Lee Hodges crosses into the box from a free kick which is met by the glancing head of Christian Wheeler to put the Dockers back onto the game at 3-2.
66 minutes on the clock and Heybridge regain control and give themselves a 2 goal cushion. Steve Bourne rises highest to nod home from a set piece to put the Swifts back in the driving seat at 4-2.
Tilbury make their last substitute, Manlee Brown off for Courtney Mclean – Although for a comical second the substitution seemed to confuse the Heybridge tannoy announcer who seemed extremely confused on who went off – And instead he announced “on comes Courtney Mclean for “God Knows Who” You would think with Manlee being 6ft 4” and having a large No 10 on the back of his shirt would have been a bit of a clue! And then later complained, sardonically over the Tannoy that he received no help from the bench!
The Dockers looking for another goal with the hosts sitting back got their reward in the 81st minute. An attempt on goal by Joe Keith saw Daniel Smith put out a foot which connected onto Keith’s fierce effort and sent the Swifts keeper the wrong way to make the score 4-3.
With 9 left on the clock the Dockers continued to try and sniff out an equaliser but sadly it wasn’t to be. As the match official Mr. Margetts only allowing 3 minutes injury time, blew to end this pulsating second half match which resulted in the home side taking all 3 points and the Dockers leave with nothing!
The Dockers next game is at home to Great Wakering Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday 5th April kick off at 3pm.
Man of the Match
Joe Keith – Creative play maker.
Heybridge Swifts : Jamie Bowyer, Jake Gibson, Jack Mead, Nathan Smith, Danny Barber, Russell Malton, Reece Morgan, Luke Hammond (Capt), Tom Broadhurst, Tom English, Steven Bourne, Substitutes, Perry Sansford, Ryan Hull, Mark Crick, Julian Simon-Parsons, Luke Fisher.
Tilbury : Andy Hall, Danny Smith, Glen Golby, Jamie Wallace (Capt), Joe Keith, Nathan Gordon, Ben Bradbury, Christian Wheeler, Manlee Brown, Jarred Small, Bradley Barnes, Substitutes, Chris Taylor, Courtney Mclean, Donny Barnard, Lee Hodges, Andy Gibbs.
Referee: Mr D. Margetts
1st Assistant: Mr J. Pope 2nd Assistant: Mr A. Pope