Blues 2 Heybridge Swifts 3

A late goal condemned Blues to defeat in Tuesday (un)friendly against Heybridge Swifts.

In a feisty match, which saw former Blue Luke Callandar suffer what appeared to be a serious knee injury, Stortford fought back from two goals down to level the score at half-time before falling to late sucker punch.

Blues’ boss Adam Flint fielded a mixture of first team squad players and trialists, with plenty of second half substitutions, but his side fell behind in the fourth minute when Callandar picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and curled it into the top corner with his right foot.

Callandar left the action eight minutes later when he was clattered by Tommy Rialist and his replacement quickly Matthew Prince gained retribution on defender Rialist with a nasty foul.

That set the tone for the evening, with the referee the busiest man on the pitch as he handed out a plethora of yellow cards.

Jake Cass and Jamie Cureton both went close to levelling the score before Price doubled Swifts’ lead in the 26th minute with a low shot past Callum Kitscha.

Cass pulled a goal back eight minutes with a 20 yard piledriver that took a slight deflection as it flew past the visiting keeper for his fourth strike in five games.

Ryan Charles was scythed down by a Swifts’ defender late in the half but recovered to go close following a well-worked attack before Blues levelled on the stroke of half-time as Rialist headed him a Jordan Wescott corner.

Bobby Mason replaced Kitscha in the Stortford goal at half-time, and the home side started the second half well with Cass and Charles both having good efforts.

Cureton and Cass both left the action shortly after the restart and Swifts also started making a series of substitutions – and to end any attempts at keeping track of who was playing, some of the replacements wore the shirts of the player they were coming on for.

One of the numerous subs, Chi Osadebe, saw a shot saved after Aaron Mason’s good ball but the visitors finished strongly and the winner came in the 87th minute as a cross was forced over the line by Odei Martin-Sorondo from close range despite Stortford’s claims it had not crossed the line.