Published: 06:00, 24 September 2021
| Updated: 18:39, 24 September 2021
Manager Ben Smith thinks new Herne Bay signing Aaron Millbank will offer something different to his side's frontline.
Millbank made his first appearance at Winch’s Field for Bay in their 1-0 win over Corinthian last weekend.
Smith revealed he had tried to sign the ex-Gillingham man last season and that Millbank had rejected better financial offers in order to join Herne Bay this time around.
“It’s a great signing. My phone blew up with people, saying ‘What a signing’, after it was announced,” Smith said.
“Aaron is a little bit different to the attacking players we have got. I tried to sign him last year but he stayed loyal to Whitstable.
“I have seen lots of reports that Aaron is motivated by money. He joined because he wants to compete at the top-end of the league. I know he has turned down more money elsewhere to join us.
“He has taken a punt. It's difficult to move from Whitstable to Herne Bay but, sometimes, you need to look beyond that.”
At the other end of the pitch, 17-year-old goalkeeper Lucas Hanley marked his first Isthmian South East game for Herne Bay with a clean sheet after getting the nod ahead of Jordan Perrin.
But Smith said: “I have a lot of faith in Jordan.
“Sometimes, there are more expectations on you. If you don’t settle straight away at the start of the season, it's good to be taken out of the firing line.
“I have given him a chance to reset. Jordan is only 22 himself.
“Sometimes when you drop a goalkeeper, it's like the end of the world. But you need to remember the outfield players get dropped and rotated quite often.
“What we are looking to do this season is not about one game, it's a 38-game season, and everyone will need to play their part.”
On Hanley’s performance, Smith added: “He was decent.
“He made a couple of good saves, including one really good one in the second half.
“As a young lad, you have to keep your concentration levels high. He came through a good test for him.”
Kieron Campbell scored the only goal.
Smith says he is thrilled with the wide options he has at his disposal.
He said: “Kieron has been in good form.
"But JJ Naiwo is now coming on strong on the other wing and we have Adem Ramadan who is class.
“I’m delighted with the wide options that we have got. There is really good competition in that area of the pitch, which keeps oppositions guessing.
“What pleases me the most is they are all just working so hard. The work-rate from my attacking players has been different level.”
Bay will host fellow high-fliers Ramsgate on Tuesday night after a blank weekend.
Forward Dean Grant has left Herne Bay following Millbank's arrival.