HEYBRIDGE Swifts boss Steve Tilson was full of praise for his side's character after they beat neighbours Maldon and Tiptree 3-1 in their Boxing Day derby.

The Jammers took a third-minute lead through George Smith but Danny Nesbitt levelled for Swifts in the 18th minute and second-half goals from Sam Park and Lewis Watson sealed Swifts' victory in front of a crowd of more than 700, at Park Drive.

The win leaves Swifts fifth in the Pitching In Isthmian League division north table and Tilson was delighted with the victory.

Tilson told the Swifts website: "It's fantastic to get three points in a local derby.

"It was a bit end to end at times which wasn't great for my liking.

"I thought it was a little bit like a basketball match at times but to go 1-0 down and respond with good character...I think the second goal was a fantastic goal.

"It was a fantastic pass by Lee Noble over the centre-half into Sam Parks' path and it was a fantastic volley, great technique.

"We needed that to go 2-1 up just to give us a bit of a breather.

"It was end to end and could have gone either way, at times but we showed great character to win the game 3-1.

"It was great to score from a set play which got us back into the game.

"We started pressing them high up the pitch and we wanted to get after them.

"Being a local derby, you want to get the crowd on your side.

"As much as it was for us, it was for the fantastic support we had today.

"It was a good afternoon all round."

Swifts are next in action on Saturday when they visit Gorleston, before a New Year's Day home clash with Ipswich Wanderers.

"It's a busy schedule; we picked up another couple of injuries which isn't fantastic for us and we're down to bare bones," added Tilson.

"But it was nice to see Rob Harvey back on the pitch for 15-20 minutes.

"Lewis Watson had to come on earlier than we wanted because Jack (Adlington) got injured.

"Tyler Brampton has been struggling with pain round his hip flexors and tried in the warm-up but was no good today, so Danny Nesbitt stepped in and did ever so well, as did the back four."

Maldon and Tiptree, who are ninth after the defeat, host Walthamstow on Saturday before visiting Grays Athletic, on New Year's Day.