SWIFTS boss Jody Brown praised the character of his side after Ryan Henshaw’s last-gasp winner earned a huge three points against Tilbury.
It looked like the hosts would have to settle for a point after Albert Kieth’s goal three minutes from time cancelled out Kreshnic Kresniqi’s penalty opener for Heybridge just after the hour mark.
But centre-half Henshaw (pictured above) rose highest in a crowded penalty box to nod home a dramatic winner in stoppage time and secure three valuable points in Swifts’ push for the play-offs.
Brown said: “We looked mentally and physically jaded and our performance wasn’t great but our character shone through once again.
“That’s not the first time Ryan has found us a goal in injury time – he has a huge heart.”
It was also a game in which Swifts defender Guillem Ramon (pictured above, second from the left, in the dressing room with team-mates after the game) made his 100th appearance for the club.
Swifts made all the early running and seemed a little sluggish as a result of their mid-week exertions, including Thursday night’s tough game against Potters Bar.
Tilbury keeper Clarke Bogard made a good save from Juan Luque and then made a superb double save from the division’s top-scorer Matt Price when sent clear and then Sam Ashford with the rebound.
The Dockers went close just before the break when a striker Dwade James fired across the face of the goal when free.
The opener came when Krasniqi was brought down on the edge of the box before coolly slotting home the resulting penalty to the delight of the Swifts faithful behind the goal.
but the visitors levelled when Keith got on to a knock down and squeezed the ball home despite the efforts of skipper James Baker to clear it.
The goal came after referee over ruled his linesman, giving a throw to Tilbury in disputed fashion.
But Swifts hit back when an excellent long throw from Krasniqi was met Henshaw among a host of players to get the vital connection to force the ball over the line.
Wins for five other teams in the top seven on Saturday made this one of the most important victories all season for Swifts and stretched their unbeaten home to 11 games.
Swifts face four away games on the trot now with visits to Hertford and Bowers this Tuesday and Thursday respectively. They will be hoping for a good away following from their superb fans for these vital matches once more.