Herne Bay manager Steve Lovell believes new midfielder Scott Heard was sold on his vision for the club.
Heard left Isthmian Premier outfit Folkestone in search of regular first-team football last week, having enjoyed nine years at Cheriton Road across two spells.
Undoubtedly, the availability of ex-Whitstable man Heard would have interested plenty of Isthmian League clubs in Kent but it was Lovell who got his signature.
“I spoke to him about the club, the way we play and the way we want to go,” Lovell explained. “I think that sold it to him.
“It’s great he looked at it from a football perspective more than any other. I think there were quite a few clubs in for him.
“All we can do is tell them what we want to do. I’m sure he will enjoy his football with us.
“It was a good start for him on Saturday but there’s still a long way to go.”
Heard made his Bay debut in an impressive 3-0 Isthmian South East victory at play-off chasing Lancing.
“Scott did very well,” added Lovell. “It’s not easy when it’s the first time you meet players an hour before the game!
“He just showed how good and experienced he is as a player. He got around every blade of grass, there were no worries about his fitness.”
Bay took control after a goalless first half to consign the Lancers to just a second loss since December.
Lovell reflected: “It was a very good performance. We won 3-0 and, in the second half, it could have been quite a few more. We defended very well in the first.
“They’re a very good footballing side and they had only lost one of their last nine games beforehand. But we worked on a system, pressing them from the start, and it was very good.
“We won the game, really, in the first half with our defensive performance. In the second half, when we got the ball down and played, we did really well.”
Defenders Harrison Pont and Frankie Smith netted before forward Kane Rowland rounded off their victory on 75 minutes.
On his defender’s goals, Lovell noted: “They were not from set-plays, either.
“Ponty loves going forward and Frankie is fit enough, young enough and good enough to get up and back.
“They got themselves into really good positions and they were really good strikes. Ponty has had a few goals like that and Frankie’s was his second goal this season.”
The win closed the gap on Lancing and leaves Bay level on points with fifth-placed Sheppey - with a match in hand.
“It’s very close at the top now,” admitted Lovell. “I think a lot of those teams have got to play each other over the next month or so as well.
“All the teams have played - roughly - the same amount of games, apart from the top two. Even the top two are not that far behind everybody else (in terms of games played).
“All it takes is a team going on a run.
“I think it will go right until the end. That’s very exciting for the players and supporters.”
Bay have only lost once in 2024, picking up 16 out of a possible 21 points ahead of this Saturday’s visit of Broadbridge Heath and another home match against struggling Beckenham seven days later.
Lovell, who is set to have a welcome selection dilemma with defender Dan Carrington also now back from a ban, said: “We have got two home games.
“All the hard work that we have done so far, if we don’t get results in those league games, it’s been a bit of a waste.
“We need to keep on going.”
Herne Bay have been fined £300 by the FA after admitting “that its players and/or technical area occupants behaved in a way which was improper and/or violent and/or provocative” in November’s 3-3 home draw with Three Bridges.