JULIAN Dicks says it is 'ridiculous' that Heybridge Swifts have missed out on promotion despite triumphing in their Bostik League division north play-off final.

Swifts claimed a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over neighbours Maldon and Tiptree in front of a crowd of more than 900, at Park Drive.

But they will not go up to the Bostik League premier division - step three of the non-league pyramid - after Yate Town beat Cinderford Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Division One South play-off final.

It meant that Yate went up to the Southern Premier League and Swifts stayed put, as temporary promotion and relegation methods are in place this season and next because the National League system is being developed.

The FA argue that having the temporary measures in place for only two seasons will allow for a gradual restructure, rather than causing too much disruption in any one campaign.

However, Swifts boss Dicks insists his side deserve to be playing in a higher division, next season.

Dicks said: “At the end of the day we have won the play-offs and we should be going up, it’s ridiculous.

“We shouldn’t have to wait on other results.

"Whoever is making those decisions needs to look at it closely and simplify it all, not just for us but any team who is taking part in these games."

Despite the disappointment of missing out on promotion, Dicks is full of praise for his Heybridge side who have excelled this season.

The former West Ham United defender took over in the Scraley Road hot seat last October and since then, they have been on an upward curve.

“We are looking forward to the challenge and pushing the club forward," he said.

"If you had told us at the start of the season we would be in the semi-final, final and then winning the play-offs after blips we have had this season, I would have said you were nuts.

“But my players have been magnificent, not just (on Sunday) but over the course of the season - I am proud of their achievements and as long as my players give me 100 per cent that’s all I can ask for.”

All the goals in Swifts' play-off final with Maldon came in the second half, with Nick Brown and Evans Kouassi putting the visitors firmly in the driving seat.

But 90th-minute goals from Eddie-Louis Dsane and Kojo Awotwi sent the game to extra-time and a penalty shoot-out which Swifts won, with keeper Chris Haigh pulling off excellent saves.

Dicks added: “I thought we were the better side and going 2-0 up with a couple of minutes left you would expect us to hang on, although I have to give full credit to Maldon and Tiptree for not giving up and taking us to extra-time and the penalty shoot-out.

“They knocked the stuffing out of us with the two goals late on.

“Our two strikers had to come off through injury, Pricey (Matt Price) was a real handful and was unlucky not to get a couple of goals for himself.

"People have been saying the goals we had disallowed were not offside but I haven’t seen them to be honest.

“I said to the boys that they had been fantastic for 80 minutes, we have another 30 minutes to play and the possibility of penalties.

“This is your opportunity to grind it out and get what you deserve, it’s up to you to go out and do that.”