Murray’s late winner denies ten-man Swifts a battling point

Gary White

SWIFTS fielded a much-changed line up for this game, their first for over a fortnight due to the bad weather, and were ultimately beaten by a last-gasp winner.

There were debuts for Ahmed Abdulla, a new signing from Ware, and keeper Jake Jessop, a loan signing from Chelmsford.

But Swifts’ hopes took a major hit when defender Jack Cawley was sent off ten minutes before the interval following an off-the-ball scuffle.

Heybridge manager Jody Brown expressed dismay at the performance from the officials in the new #SwiftsCast, which you can listen to by clicking here.

Sam Ashford and James Baker were also handed their first starts on Tuesday evening as suspensions and injuries took their toll.

Swifts took the lead with a goal from Matt Price after superb work by Kreshnic Krasniqi on 19 minutes.

The midfielder beat two men then slipped the ball inside to the striker to curl past keeper Berkley Laurencin.

The hosts levelled soon after when a header from Ben Ward-Cochrane slipped past Jessup in their first attack.

And after Cawley’s dismissal, Swifts had to re-shuffle with no defenders on the bench so Lewis Godbold slotted into central defence and did well.

Town’s George Nicholas headed against the bar after a deep cross from left before Swifts hit back with half time approaching when a firm Shot from Abdulla was deflected just wide.

And from the resulting corner Price slotted in again after great battling by Krasniqi.

The second half was a different affair as the hosts made the most of their man advantage.

A turn and shot by big striker Michael Murray was tipped over by Jessup then a 25-yard strike from Chris Doyle smacked the underside of Swifts’ bar.

Bar’s Lee O’Leary then his a 25-yarder which came off foot of our post just before the hour mark.

It was 2-2 on 64 minutes with a goal from home skipper O’Leary when a cross was superbly chested into his path for him to slot home.

Hosts hit woodwork for a fourth time, this time from a close range header from James Budden from a corner.

Krasniqi then broke down the right and squared for Abdulla but he skied his shot on 80 minutes when he had more time than he realised.

It looked like Swifts were in for a hard-fought point but just like the previous game at Witham they conceded in injury time.

The winner came from a questionable free kick from the edge of the box which was superbly curled home by the impressive Murray.

Heybridge will be looking to bounce back quick when they host derby rivals Witham this evening, before a visit from Craig Edwards’ revitalised Chushunt on Saturday (you can listen to match previews on the #SwiftsCast).