GOALKEEPER Ashley Harrison has stepped out of retirement to join Heybridge Swifts.

The former Chelmsford City and Canvey Island shot-stopper has signed for the Ryman One North club.

Swifts were on the look-out for a new goalkeeper after Danny Sambridge broke his hand in their Boxing Day derby at Maldon & Tiptree.

Incredibly, with the help of strong painkillers, he was able to play just two days later, in the 3-1 home victory over struggling Ware. But after having the extent of his injury confirmed, he now faces around six weeks on the sidelines.

Swifts moved quickly to bring in former FA Trophy winner Harrison, who also played for Southend Manor, Great Wakering Rovers and Basildon United.

“Ashley is coming out of retirement and we’re delighted he’s agreed to help us out,” said Heybridge boss Jody Brown.

“I’m not going to put a label on the signing, by saying something like it’s only a short-term arrangement.

“We’re just going to take it one game at a time.

“We need a goalkeeper and he’s a vastly-experienced one, who’s confident he can step straight in and play at this level again.”

Swifts’ last three matches have been postponed.

They were the New Year’s Day clash at home to Soham Town Rangers, Saturday’s trip to Needham Market and Tuesday night’s home game against Romford.

Heybridge are scheduled to visit Redbridge on Saturday before hosting Dereham next Tuesday.