Published: 05:00, 05 May 2022
| Updated: 12:26, 05 May 2022
Captain Laurence Harvey admits it has been a joy to be part of Herne Bay’s defence.
Another clean sheet - a sixth in seven matches - guided Bay to their 2-0 Isthmian South East play-off final win at Ashford on Saturday as in-form Kieron Campbell and substitute Aaron Millbank struck at the other end to secure promotion.
The side still kept an incredible 16 league shut-outs despite losing right-back Ryan Cooper to a serious knee injury before Christmas.
But goalkeeper Jordan Perrin came into form at the business end of the season after some shaky spells while the centre-half partnership of Harvey and Dan Johnson, alongside left-back Jack Parter, were mainstays in the team throughout their promotion-winning campaign.
Harvey said: “It’s a great defence. At right-back, we had Coops, who is one of the best right-backs in the league in my opinion.
“We’ve missed him a lot but players have come in and done really well.
“Troy Williams was unlucky not to play in the final, he’s been superb in the final part of the season. But Carra [Dan Carrington] did brilliantly.
“We’ve got a really good understanding at the back. I’ve played in teams before where it doesn’t quite click at the back but, with this team, it’s just a joy to play with.
“You are just confident that you are going to keep clean sheets, players will win things in the air and players won’t shirk responsibility.
“It’s been a great defence to be a part of.”
Harvey, who chipped in with six goals, felt the fact Bay were the form side heading into the play-offs proved to be key as they earned promotion to the Isthmian Premier for the first time in their 136-year club history.
Summing up his thoughts on a memorable day for the club, he commented: “It’s amazing, isn’t it?
“It’s been a long old season, we’ve been in and out of the play-offs.
“We put a good run together at the end of the season.
"You see it a lot going into the play-offs the team - not necessarily who finished highest - but the team in best form going into it wins it, and I feel like that helped us.
“The last five games of the regular season with five clean sheets gave us lots of confidence knowing, if we could get a goal, we were going to hold on.
“With the quality of strikers, wingers and other attacking players in our team, we are confident we are going to score every game.
“Players like Jordan in goal have really come into their own at the end of the season.
"His end-of-season has just been superb.”