Heybridge Swifts’ boss Jody Brown is looking ‘up rather than down’

Heybridge Swifts' manager, Jody Brown

Heybridge Swifts' manager, Jody Brown - Credit: Archant

Heybridge Swifts remain just three points clear of the relegation zone, despite an unbeaten start to 2017, but manager Jody Brown is looking “up rather than down.”

The Swifts travel to fifth-placed Bowers & Pitsea tomorrow evening (7.45pm kick-off), hoping to extend an unbeaten run stretching to five fixtures.

“The club has been in transition for quite a while, and when I came in, about a year ago, we were rock bottom,” explained Brown.

“We have a little buffer between ourselves and the bottom three, but to be honest I am looking up rather than down.

“We tend to play well against the top teams, which shows that we are looking forward. I think that bodes well for next season.

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“We have beaten the likes of Maldon & Tiptree (league leaders), Bury and Cheshunt this season, and drawn with Brightlingsea, Hornchurch, Tilbury and our next opponents Bowers & Pitsea.

“In fact, only Thurrock (5-0 home defeat in November) from the top teams have turned us over this season.”

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The Swifts rallied to draw 1-1 away at 12th-placed Tilbury on Saturday, salvaging a point via Reece Conway’s 71st minute own goal from George Cole’s corner.

Tomorrow’s hosts, Bowers & Pitsea, meanwhile, claimed the notable scalp of Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday, ending the Jammers’ 100% home record (16 wins from 16 starts) with a 3-2 win at Park Drive.

“The conditions at Tilbury were horrific,” explained Brown.

“The pitch was awful. It was a real leveller, and it became a battle of characters, and an absolute scrap.

“But we continue to make a steady improvement.

“We haven’t had a lot of wins – we have drawn a lot of matches, and missed some late penalties – but we have been proving hard to beat and we have been playing well.

“We drew 2-2 recently with Bowers & Pitsea (January 14). They are a good side, with plenty of attacking options, and it should be a good playing surface,” added Brown.

Front-runner Luke Hornsley missed Saturday’s game at Tilbury, due to suffering a minor injury in a car accident, while left-back Jack Cawley was ill. Both could return tomorrow evening.

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