JODY BROWN hailed his side’s “great character” as they came from behind to knock higher-league Dorchester out of the FA Trophy with a late strikes from in-form duo Sam Bantick and Luke Callander.
The Magpies took a third-minute lead when Mo Baghdadi’s cross was headed home at the near post by Phil Ormrod.
But the Evo-Stik South Premier hosts were shocked by Bostik North Swifts with strikes from Bantick and Callander in the final seven minutes to stun the majority of the 319 crowd at the Green King Community Stadium.
Brown’s introduction of Kreshnic Krasniqi, Ricky Sappleton and Joe Gardner from the bench in the second half galvanised the Swifts.
And they levelled when Callander’s chipped cross found Bantick and he brilliantly cut inside before curling home his third goal in four games.
It was roles reversed with two minutes to go as Bantick broke forward and fed Callander to fire in his fourth goal in as many games.
It means Swifts have now only lost twice in 23 games – including last weekend’s battling defeat to League Two Exeter – and Heybridge boss Brown commended his side for another gutsy display.
He said: “It was a long journey to make on the day of the game and there was definitely a flat atmosphere following last week’s FA Cup tie at Exeter.
“We started slowly but – despite going a goal down – got hold of possession and began to dominate.
“Dorchester were a strong outfit but – for whatever reason – looked to slow the game down and hold onto their very early lead.
“We missed a couple very good opportunities but in general they were defending well.
“In the end a change of shape and all three substitutions pushed us toward the equaliser and eventual winner.
“We showed great character but we must regain our focus and hunger now the limelight and the FA Cup are in the past, and we need to live in the present.
“It will be two games a week all the way though now and our ability to keep the intensity and tempo high will be a huge challenge.”
Swifts Starman: Sam Bantick.
- Swifts are pictured above celebrating after the match by Marc Marangou