HARWICH and Parkeston striker Jordan Heath is back among the goals – and has vowed to be in tip-top shape for the Shrimpers’ busy Christmas schedule.

The front man took his tally to ten goals this season with a strike in Tuesday’s 5-1 Thurlow Nunn League victory against Braintree Town Reserves.

It was his first game since recovering from ankle ligament damage, suffered in late September.

Now he plans to get more minutes under his belt to ensure he is in the best possible shape for the festive fixtures, which include a derby at Little Oakley on Boxing Day.

“I hadn’t played for seven weeks prior to Tuesday,” said Heath, who was joined on the scoresheet by his brother, Ryan, Elliot Johnson and two-goal hero Tyler Rose.

“It was nice to play and score and it’s so important to get minutes under my belt, ahead of a very busy December.

“It’s such an important month and there are lots of points to play for.

“There are some big games and I want to be as fit as possible.

“Hashtag United and White Ensign (who Harwich play on December 8 and 22 respectively) are right up there and then we’ve got Oakley on Boxing Day.

“Everyone understands what an important game that is for both clubs.

“Some of us are mates and we want to get one over them, as much as they want to get one over us.

“I want to be fit and ready to play my part. That’s the aim.”

Having returned too quickly from a previous ankle injury, Heath is determined to be cautious and look after his body this time around.

“I remember doing my other ankle and coming back way too early.

“I was so keen to play.

“I remember striking a ball and being in pain.

“It’s important to get it right, from a football perspective but also taking my work and family into account.

“This time around I couldn’t do anything for four weeks.

“Then I started running and now, after some rehab, I’m able to strike the ball again.

“Last week’s training session was the first time I’ve been able to properly put my foot through a ball without experiencing pain and that makes me happy.”

Tuesday’s win was Harwich’s fourth in a row, following previous successes against Burnham Ramblers, Brightlingsea Regent and Hackney Wick.

In addition to the talent within the squad, he puts much of that down to the team’s excellent spirit.

“I’m very much enjoying being here,” he said.

“We’ve got a good group of lads, everyone gets on well and we haven’t got any bad eggs in the changing room.

“That helps with our spirit and it’s shining through on the pitch – a big part of the reason we’ve got these four wins on the trot.

“At the start of the season we knew we were conceding too many – we just hoped we could outscore teams.

“Now the defensive problems aren’t so much of an issue and we’re still scoring goals, which is always good to see.

“The club have said all along that it’s about establishing ourselves this season and readjusting to step six football.

“That’s still the aim and anything more than that, in terms of where we finish, would be a case of us over-achieving.”