LUCK deserted Heybridge Swifts as they could have beaten Redbridge with the last two touches of a goalless spectacle ruined by the gale force wind of Storm Kathleen, writes JON LONGMAN.

Kojo Apenteng rattled the crossbar with a 20-yard strike then Rob Harvey stumbled as he dashed in to meet the rebound just before the referee blew the final whistle.

The gale blew away Swifts' realistic hopes of staying in the race for the Pitching In Isthmian League division north play-offs.

Swifts manager Steve Tilson said: “Right at the end Kojo had a fantastic strike in off the underside of the crossbar.

“Rob was a yard out and couldn’t get the final touch. He slipped as he went to head in off the floor.

“I am disappointed not to win the game But once again they did what I asked for and they gave everything they have got.

“They just needed to show quality in that last little bit, “Now we have got four tough games and we will finish as high as we can.”

It was sombre occasion from the off as a minute’s silence was observed before the game following the untimely death of former chairman Gary White, who played the leading role in the revamping of the Scraley Road stadium.

Swifts' best chances of breaking deadlock came in the latter part of the first half when they forced five successive corners but Redbridge held out.

At the other end, Swifts keeper Noah Phillips bagged his fourth straight clean sheet but he was only tested once, making a fine diving save to palm away a dangerous cross Tilson added: “It was a difficult game in tough conditions.

“Redbridge are what they are - long throws and set plays. I thought we defended really well and Noah didn’t have a save to make all afternoon.

“The wind spoilt the game but we never had enough quality in the final third to score even though we had two or three decent chances.

“That was our fourth straight clean sheet and that gives you a platform to go on and win the game. We had that today but you need that bit of luck.”

Lady luck has not been on Swifts’ side this season with a spate of serious injuries and they are now one place away from a play-off spot - but more importantly they are a crucial seven points adrift of Brentwood.

After a midweek visit to Walthamstow, the Swifts make the short trip to Brightlingsea on Saturday.