SHARP-SHOOTER Darius Ghinea has come to the rescue of Heybridge Swifts and neighbours Maldon and Tiptree will be in his sights when the rivals collide in the Velocity Trophy at Park Drive next Tuesday, writes JON LONGMAN.

Ghinea sank Tilbury with two goals last Saturday to fill the gap left by Swifts leading scorer Andy Fennell who suffered a broken collar bone when he was fouled by a Romford defender as he scored the third goal of his hat-trick in the 7-0 away win at Romford.

Fennell is sidelined for the three months it takes the bones to knit. To add to his frustrations, he is unable to train and cannot work as a warehouse supervisor.

Fennell’s eight goals have lifted the Swifts up the Division One North table after a dreadful start to the season but Ghinea gave a pointer to his goalscoring abilities with a glorious 25-yarder that sank Hastag United earlier in the season.

The Swifts have a major score to settle as the Jammers shattered their rivals when the sides clashed in this league cup competition a couple of years ago.

The Jammers claimed the local bragging rights with a club record 8-1 away win as the Isthmian League tried an unsuccessful Velocity Trophy group stage in place of the early rounds of the competition.

The Swifts clawed back a huge chunk of those rights this season when ‘Super Sub’ Dan Walker emerged from the depths of the dugout to head home the winner against the Jammers in a top versus bottom of the table encounter at the Aspen Waite Arena.

Walker is likely to be leading the line at Park Drive next Tuesday and he will appreciate support from his team-mates as manager Steve Tilson faces his first Blackwater derby.

Ghinea will be buoyed up by his goals at Tilbury. His first strike came on the stroke of half-time as a wonderful exchange of passes left Tilbury in a spin with no time to hit back before facing the manager’s wrath.

That misery was doubled in the 75th minute when the Tilbury keeper could only push his save direct to Ghinea who rifled home the rebound much to the delight of the Swifts sizeable travelling support in a crowd of just 154 who braved the nasty conditions.

Manager Tilson is concerned by the number of penalties that the Swifts are conceding as yet another foul in the box allowed Ole Ogunwamide to pull a goal back six minutes from time but the Swifts slithered to victory.

Ghinea and Walker will be assisted by the return of another sharpshooter, Jack Adlington-Pile, who came on as an 89th minute substitute at Tilbury but was booked a minute later.

It was Adlington-Pile’s fourth yellow card of the season but he avoided a fifth booking before the November 30 cut-off date for an automatic one match suspension.

Ghinea, Walker and Co will be hunting for goals on Saturday (3pm) when bottom of the table Hullbridge will be the targets in the Aspen Waite Arena shooting gallery.