SWIFTS earned the derby bragging rights with a commanding display against last season’s league runners up Maldon at a scorching Aspen Waite Arena on Bank Holiday Monday.
Bouyed by their 1-0 winning performance against Barking on Saturday, the hosts ran riot against the Jammers.
The returning Ryan Henshaw made it 1-0 with powerful header from Sam Bantick’s corner after three minutes and Harrison Chatting (below) doubled the advantage following excellent play by Luke Callander to chip over the onrushing keeper Andy Walker on 12 minutes.
Swifts were relentless and a young Maldon back four were having great trouble containing Callander, whose clever flicks and turns were creating many opportunities for those around him.
Bantick added a third following an excellent run and cross by Juan Luque to make it 3-0 after only 16 minutes.
Lewis Dark once again was excellent again at the back alongside after Henshaw, while Guillem Ramon made a superb intervention when Maldon threatened with a long ball from skipper Matt Lock.
The Jammers should have got a goal back on 32 minutes when centre forward Junior Odendi-Uzokwe headed wide from close range. But that was their only clear cut chance of the half.
Soaring temperatures in the second half made for a more equal affair as Maldon pressed hard to get back into the game.
But the Swifts rearguard held firm and keeper Jack Giddens displayed excellent handling when pressed into action.
Callander had two close range efforts saved by Walker to deny him a goal his performance deserved but the hosts made it 4-0 on 79 minutes when Joe Gardner scored superbly only three minutes after coming on.
The former Concord winger converted when Callander slipped him through and he rounded both keeper and defender to coolly slot home.
Maldon had Nicholas Akoto sent off for what seemed an unfortunate accident before Josh Fagbohun (below) made it 5-0 with a firm penalty after he was tripped in the last minute.
Swifts fans were understandably delighted at the end and gave the players a rousing send off back to the dressing rooms after a display and result that will last long in local memory.
It capped a superb week for the club with three victories, 12 goals scored and only one conceded.
The result was testimony to the hard work manager Jody Brown and his management team put in during the close season in building a strong squad with character and work ethic.
It is back to FA Cup action for Swifts this Saturday and a visit to Arlesey Town in Bedfordshire. The fans’ coach will leave the Aspen Waite Arena at 11.15 am.
Swifts Starman: Harrison Chatting.