HEYBRIDGE Swifts boss Mark Hawkes is relishing his side’s rivalry with fellow high-fliers Maldon and Tiptree.

Maldon are top of Ryman One North and Swifts lie in third place.

“It’s fantastic both for ourselves and our friends up the hill,” said Swifts boss Hawkes.

“We always look out for their results and I expect they do the same with ours.

“We’re feeding off each other and it gives us both an extra spur, which is great and something to be enjoyed.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the derby matches (at Scraley Road on Boxing Day and Park Drive on April 1).

“They would be big occasions if we were bottom and second-from-bottom, because of the rivalry between the sides.

“But they will have extra spice and be even more interesting this season, if we both continue to do so well.”

Swifts lost out 3-0 to Wroxham on Tuesday night night and face another away game at Ware on Saturday.

And they will be without striker Russell Malton after the striker broke his hand at Aveley. He could be out for a month.