WITHAM Town assistant manager Brad King admitted that he had been surprised by Kye Ruel’s decision to quit the Village Glass Stadium to join their Ryman League division one north rivals Maldon and Tiptree.

The former East Thurrock midfielder had joined Witham before Christmas and played in Town’s 3-0 win against Maldon and Tiptree last month, but has now opted to join the Jammers.

Witham have moved quickly to bolster their squad numbers with the addition of Lee Townrow on a loan deal from Needham Market, but King was surprised that Ruel had moved on.

He said: “Importantly, Lee wants to be at the club.

“He could have gone on to other clubs, but he likes what we’re doing here.

“We only want players who want to be here and it’s the opposite case as it was with Kye Ruel.

“He has gone to Maldon and Tiptree, which I found very surprising given the comments he made to us after we played them recently.

“When he got told a seven-day notice had come in, he said ‘no chance, why would I?’ “Since then he has spoken to them and decided it was an offer he couldn’t turn down."

Heybridge Swifts will be looking to bounce back from their midweek 3-1 defeat at the hands of Soham Town Rangers.

Tomorrow, Swifts are on the road to Tilbury and David Hopkins and Reece Morgan should be back in the starting line-up after missing Tuesday’s game to travelling difficulties.

Kevin Dobinson should also be back in the side but Taylor Hastings will probably still be sidelined with a neck injury.

Maldon and Tiptree will be hoping to get back to Ryman League action as they are due to host leaders VCD Athletic.