RAMPANT Heybridge Swifts have made the perfect start to the new season, soaring to the top of the Pitching In Isthmian League division north table with three straight wins, writes JON LONGMAN.

Adding their FA Cup 4-0 win over Barking to their best opening to a campaign for many years, manager Steve Tilson was candid in his assessment of the Swifts as they attempt to build another cup run with Gorleston standing in their way as opponents in Saturday’s first qualifying round tie at Scraley Road.

Tilson admitted: “The win against Barking wasn’t our best performance by a long way but it was all about getting results.

“But it was another clean sheet and two fantastic goals - a fabulous free kick from Sam Park and Rob Harvey did ever so well from Ross’s through ball for the second [with an angled drive from ten yards as Harvey surged towards goal].

“So two good goals and we are in the hat for the next round.”

The Swifts banked £1,444 in prize money for the Barking victory in the preliminary round to start another promising Emirates FA Cup run and a further £2,250 is at stake for the winners on Saturday.

The Swifts almost count on having a good run in the world’s greatest cup competition because it is a bonus as it is something that the new chairman Steve Spreadbury, new vice-chairman Kevin Cooper and the revamped committee cannot budget for.

Meanwhile, the Swifts continued their unbeaten start to the Isthmian North Division season thanks to the return of centre-forward Ross Wall after a spell at Brentwood at the tail end of last season.

With Wall causing aerial problems for opposition defences, the Swifts followed up the 1-0 win at Stowmarket on the opening day with a 5-1 demolition of East Thurrock last Saturday and a 2-1 at North Division newcomers Ipswich Wanderers on Monday.

Goals from Ben Sartain (2), Kieran Jones, Rob Harvey and Wall himself sank Thurrock to leave the visitors in tatters after manager Steve Butterworth and his assistant were both shown red cards by Richard Wharton.

Tilson had stern words with his side as Thurrock scored a consolation goal just 30 seconds after the break following a lapse in concentration.

Jones was on target again on Bank Holiday Monday as he and Mikey Faulkner, scoring his first Swifts goal, sent the Wanderers crashing to the bottom of the table.

The Swifts have been drawn at home to Bedfordshire side Barton Rovers in the FA Trophy first qualifying round, on Saturday week.