Heybridge Swifts F.C.

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Heybridge Swifts
Heybridge Swifts FC Logo.png
Full nameHeybridge Swifts Football Club
Nickname(s)Swifts
Founded1880
GroundScraley Road, Heybridge
Capacity3,000 (550 seated) [1]
ChairmanGary White
Manager Julian Dicks
League Isthmian League North Division
2020–21 Isthmian League North Division (season curtailed)

Heybridge Swifts Football Club is a football club based in Heybridge, near Maldon, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League North Division and play at Scraley Road.

Contents

History

The club was established in 1880 as Heybridge Football Club. [1] After joining the Mid-Essex League they won Division One in 1908–09 and again in 1911–12. [2] The club subsequently became members of the Essex & Suffolk Border League and were runners-up in Division Two (West) in 1919–20. The club won the division the following season, before finishing as runners-up again in 1921–22 and 1924–25. [3] They later moved up to Division One and were runners-up in 1928–29. The club went on to win the division in 1930–31, earning promotion to the Senior Division. The following season saw them finish as runners-up in the Senior Division, [3] as well as winning the Essex Junior Cup. [1]

After World War II Heybridge returned to the Mid-Essex League, winning the league and the Division One League Cup in 1946–47. [2] In 1949–50 the club joined the Premier Division of the South Essex League, but left after a single season. They returned to the Mid-Essex League and were champions of Division One (now the league's second division after the creation of the Premier Division in 1949) in 1955–56, as well as winning the Division One League Cup. [2] The club later rejoined the Essex & Suffolk Border League and were runners-up in the Premier Division in 1965–66. [3] After finishing as runners-up again in 1969–70 they were founder members of the Essex Senior League in 1971. [4] They finished bottom of the league in 1973–74, but were runners-up in 1980–81 and then won three consecutive league titles between 1981–82 and 1983–84. Following their third title the club moved up to Division Two North of the Isthmian League.

Heybridge were Division Two North champions in 1989–90, earning promotion to Division One. In 1994–95 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 to Gillingham in a home match that was moved to Layer Road in Colchester. [4] In 1995–96 they finished the season as Division One runners-up and were promoted to the Premier Division. [4] The club reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 1997–98, losing 3–0 at Bournemouth. [4] Another first round appearance in 2002–03 ended in a 7–0 defeat to Bristol City. A sixteenth-place finish in 2003–04 saw Heybridge play-off with St Albans City for a place in the new Conference South, but they lost 4–3. [4] The club were Premier Division runners-up in 2005–06, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, in which they lost on penalties to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the semi-finals following a 1–1 draw. [4]

Heybridge remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2008–09 season, when they were relegated to Division One North. [4] A third-place finish in 2013–14 saw them qualify for the play-offs, but they went on to lose 3–0 to Harlow Town in the semi-finals. [4] In the 2017–18 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the fourth time, losing 3–1 at Exeter City; winger Sam Bantick scored Heybridge's first goal in the proper rounds of the competition. [5] They also finished fifth in the renamed North Division, reaching the play-offs. However, the club were beaten 2–0 by Haringey Borough in the semi-finals. [6] The following season saw the club finish fifth in the North Division, again qualifying for the play-offs. Despite defeating Aveley 2–0 in the semi-finals and then beating local rivals Maldon & Tiptree on penalties in the final, the club were denied promotion as only the five eighth-tier play-off winners with the best points-per-game record were promoted, with Heybridge ranked sixth. [7]

Ground

The club played at Bentall's Sports Ground from 1890 until being evicted in 1964 so a shopping centre could be built on the site. [8] After playing at Sadd's Athletic for two seasons, the club moved to Scraley Road, formerly a carrot field, in 1966. [8] A wooden stand was soon built on the western side of the pitch, becoming the West Stand. [8] [9] The stand was extended during the early 1980s, with bench seating also installed. [10] In 1994 a covered terrace was erected, but it had to be dismantled and rebuilt the following year after the local council had declared it unsafe. [10]

The main stand was built on the other side of the pitch to the wooden stand in 1995 and has uncovered terraces on either side. [11] The Scraley Road end is an uncovered terrace, whilst the other end, the South Stand, consists of a covered terrace. [12] [13] The ground currently has a capacity of 3,000, of which 550 is seated and 1,200 covered. [1]

Honours

Records

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2016) Non-League Club Directory 2017, Tony Williams Publications, p362 ISBN   978-1869833695
  2. 1 2 3 Official handbook season 2017–2018 Mid-Essex League
  3. 1 2 3 2016-2017 Official Handbook Archived 2017-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Essex & Suffolk Border League
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Heybridge Swifts at the Football Club History Database
  5. Exeter City 3–1 Heybridge Swifts BBC Sport, 5 November 2017
  6. Heybridge Swifts’ play-off hopes ended at Haringey Borough East Anglian Daily Times, 2 May 2018
  7. Hastings United wouldn’t have been promoted - even had they won play-offs Bexhill-on-Sea Observer, 7 May 2019
  8. 1 2 3 Heybridge Swifts Pyramid Passion
  9. West Stand Heybridge Swifts F.C.
  10. 1 2 Jon Weaver (2005) The Football Grounds of Rural Essex, pp32–33
  11. The Main Stand Heybridge Swifts
  12. Scraley Road End Heybridge Swifts F.C.
  13. South Stand Heybridge Swifts F.C.
  14. Tolleshunt D'Arcy Memorial Cup Competition (Dr. Salter Cup) Essex FA
  15. Swifts retain the Tolleshunt D'Arcy Memorial Cup Evening Times, 12 April 2017
  16. Adam's last game (prior to last night) was 24.4.2009 at Canvey Island in a 0-2 defeat - that was his 474th game (27 goals) Chris Daines
  17. SWIFTS FACTS: Ask @ScraleySam a question about Swifts? Chris Daines

Coordinates: 51°44′38.699″N0°42′2.160″E / 51.74408306°N 0.70060000°E / 51.74408306; 0.70060000