Ben Smith is eyeing play-off glory after helping Herne Bay make history.
Back-to-back wins against Sittingbourne and Hythe have seen Bay confirm a top-five Isthmian South East finish.
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, Bay are third and it is thought this will be the club’s highest-placed finish in their history.
“It’s nice to break a few records on the way,” said boss Smith.
“Obviously, the club has had success at Step 5 [reaching the FA Vase semi-finals in 2012, as they also earned promotion to the Isthmian League that season]. That’s part of the history of the club and the stuff they did will never be forgotten.
“We are now trying to make our own history at Step 4.
“There’s a lot of clubs that have been very well-resourced down near the bottom area, you just need to look at what’s happened at Whitehawk and Whitstable. They’ve got good budgets but, sometimes, it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason.
“As it stands, we have got higher targets. When you get into the play-offs, you want to win them.
“But it’s about taking one game at a time.”
After Zak Ansah’s brace had helped Smith’s side to a 2-0 success at Sittingbourne on Friday, another 2-0 home win in front of 746 fans at Winch’s Field on Monday sealed their play-off berth, with Rory Smith and Ansah scoring.
Smith added: “It was a great day on Monday for the club, players and supporters. It was a decent crowd, and there was nothing manufactured about the crowd.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. As I said a long time ago, our rivals are not Whitstable Town. They can’t be.
“I got a bit of stick for it at the time but our rivals have got to be whoever is standing in our way of our goal, and our goal is to win the play-offs.
“The atmosphere on Monday was as good - if not better - than the Whitstable game. We have great supporters and you could hear them in the tunnel even before we went out.
“I thought Hythe were decent in the first half but, second half, we wore them down.”
Bay have now kept four consecutive clean sheets.
Smith admitted: “It’s been a key feature of our performances this season, really. Over the course of the season, defensively, we have been incredibly strong.
“They don’t get the plaudits but that’s four clean sheets in a row. I think that’s 15 [league] clean sheets which is a remarkable feat, to be honest.
“That’s testament to the defence but also the lads in front of them put in a lot of work, as well.”
Ansah appears to be finding form at the right time, as well, and has 23 goals for the campaign.
Smith said: “I know we have good strikers that are going to score goals. Every striker goes through a bad spell - but it’s about when it matters.
“Zak has the bigger number of goals but [Aaron] Millbank stepped up against Chichester and helped us get going at Sittingbourne. But Zak has just shown his class.
“What a signing Mike West has been as well. He didn’t quite put it on a plate for him but he put it in a position where it’s classic Ansah, and you just know he is going to score.”
With a top-five finish already secured, Bay’s last league fixture of the campaign at Phoenix Sports could be an opportunity to rotate his squad.
But Smith, who gave himself 48 hours after the Hythe match to enjoy the moment, knows a win would secure third place and home advantage in the play-offs.
He stated: “There’s a lot of different ways we can go. Whatever side I pick, I will think they can win the game.
“We have not got to the play-offs with 11 players. Brad Schafer has not seen the pitch much the last couple of weeks but he has scored vital goals. There’s others that are not even in the squad that have played their part.
“There’s absolutely players that deserve a chance to stake a claim.”
If Bay do beat Phoenix, they may keep rivals Whitstable’s survival hopes alive.