Hampton & Richmond Borough striker Charlie Moone has reclaimed his goal scoring identity after a heart-to-heart with boss Mark Harper.
The 23-year-old, the club’s second highest scorer last season, smashed a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 4-0 FA Trophy win at Hythe Town – after Saturday’s 1-1 stalemate – to reach the set up a second qualifying round.
Moone played second fiddle to departed doppelganger Dave Tarpey for large parts of last season as the Beavers were relegated from the Blue Square South.
But the former Woking youngster has stepped out of the shadows to establish himself as Harper’s blue-eyed boy, with his goals having fired his side to second in the Ryman Premier League.
And Reading-based Moone is only too pleased to have taken his chance, although he admitted the fast start to the campaign for a side that has only conceded two goals thus far, has not been all about him.
“My form this year has been down to getting a regular run of games and being given the responsibility to score,” he said.
“I was in and out of the team last year and it was also my job to create chances, rather than take them myself.
“It is the other way around this year with the likes of Joey Benjamin and JJ Bates creating things.
“Mark said in the summer that he was depending on me to score the goals this season and I’ve taken that on board.
“There are great expectations on us having dropped down a league, so it was important for us to get a good start and show we are hungry for this league.
“It is nice to get a few goals, but I’ve said it before, you don’t need to score many goals when you are as solid as we are at the back.
“We’ve got some experienced players in our team now like Gary Holloway, Darren Powell, Alan Bray and Max Hustwick. Local lads who are keen to do their bit.”
Hampton go to high-flying Ryman Premier League rivals Bury Town in the FA Cup tomorrow in search of a fourth qualifying round spot and a £7,500 cash prize.
But Moone admitted taking part in the world’s most famous cup competition was not all about the money.
“The players know how important the cups are to a club like Hampton. We haven’t got the biggest budget, so every bit of money helps,” he added.
“The FA Cup is great, because when you speak to your friends and tell them you’ve actually played in it they are always impressed.”
Lewes visit the Beveree in the league on Tuesday.