STEVE Ball was delighted to get his reign as Maldon and Tiptree manager off to a winning start.

And it was in dramatic style against local rivals Heybridge Swifts in their Ryman League divison north derby game on Saturday.

A last-minute goal from Charley Edge secured the victory that gave them the bragging rights.

Ball said: “I was obviously delighted to have secured the win.

“It was a tight game and it was a heavy pitch.

“The pitch is always good there but it was a bit heavy last weekend because of the conditions. I thought we had started OK but then Swifts got the upper hand for about 20 minutes and deservedly took the lead.

“But I think we dominated in the second half and deserved to take the win late on.”

Ball was full of praise for the resilience of his side in battling back to snatch the win at the death.

He said: “That’s one of the things that they have been doing here is trying to make sure that the they fight for the full 90 minutes.

“A lot of the players have been here for a few months now and have got that idea so that is why I was pleased Charley popped up with the late winner.”

This weekend Maldon play host to leaders AFC Sudbury who are ‘flying high’ at the top of the table.

He said: “It’s great to go into the game against Sudbury with a win at our backs.

“I always say that it’s good to play the best teams in the league.

“And they are certainly that at the moment.

“They have won their last nine games and are flying high.

“And they have a really strong squad.”

And Maldon have a quick turnaround next week when they travel to Thamesmead Town on Monday night.

The number of fixtures in a short period of time is a concern for Ball but he is hoping that will calm down soon.

Ball said: “We have a small squad at Maldon, although it is a select one.

“And playing games in quick succession does come at a cost.

“Our resources are a bit stretched at the moment.

“So I will be looking to bring in a couple of players before the weekend to help with that.

“Hopefully, we are now getting to the time of year when the pressure of games eases and we can get away from the Saturday/Tuesday run of matches we have been having.”

Ball has already added to is squad bringing in teenager Tarryn Allarakhia.

Allarakhia has attracted interested from several different clubs, including Charlton Athletic, Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford and spent a week on trial with Norwich City.

He also spent the summer with Premier League side, AFC Bournemouth.

Ball said: “He is a real quality player.

“He is still a young kid, he’s only 18 but he has really good skills.

“He is a dynamic and quick player and has been attracting a lot of attention.

“We haven’t lacked from scoring goals this season but we have been relying on players like Darren McQueen week in and week out to get us goals.

“We lost Femi Akinwande to the Colchester United under-21s but have brought in Sam Newson.

“But Tarryn will give us another option as well.”