HEYBRIDGE will be looking to win their first league game against big rivals Maldon in over a year as Swifts boss Julian Dicks gets a first taste of this fierce local derby on Boxing Day.
Since a side led by Jody Brown smashed a Kevin Horlock Jammers outfit 5-0 in a Bostik North clash in August 2017, Maldon have enjoyed 4-2 and 3-2 home wins in the derby to collect the six points on offer.
And the promotion rivals will be desperate for the points again this time with fourth-placed Maldon starting the day a place, two points and a plus-one goal difference better off than Swifts in the brutally competitive Step 4 division.
The Jammers also have a new manager in the shape of former Colchester United defender Wayne Brown, and he has developed a terrific side featuring former Swifts Lewis Dark and Jack Cawley, along with 12-goal star De-Carrey Sheriff.
And Maldon beat Swifts 2-1 in a Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup quarter-final earlier this month (the teams are pictured before kick-off in that match by Alan Edmonds).
But there will be no inferiority complex from a Swifts side on their own patch who have been in simply sensational form under West Ham legend Dicks, collecting 28 points from the 33 available since he was appointed in early October.
Kick-off at the Aspen Waite Arena is at 3pm and a big crowd is expected for what is always a festive treat for Essex football fans.