Hampton & Richmond Borough defender Max Hustwick has played down the praise lavished on him by boss Mark Harper.

Hustwick and Darren Powell are the central partnership of a Beavers defence that has kept four clean sheets in four games, with the team sitting on top of the Ryman League Premier Division.

The pair were praised by Harper as being the standout defenders who have been “especially strong” at the back.

But 30-year-old Hustwick, who joined from Lewes in the summer, believes their team ethic is the reason behind the good start.

He said: “We have started very well and it is nice to get the praise, but we have defended well as a team.

“Darren and I are doing OK, but if everyone does what they are meant to then we all benefit.

“Our pre-season was not perfect so this good start is a little bit of a surprise but I am enjoying it.”

The Beavers travel to Enfield tomorrow looking to make it five clean sheets and, according to Harper, they have been helped by lady luck.

The manager said: “Defensively we have looked reasonably good, and Darren  and Max have been especially strong.

“We have got bodies in the way when we have needed to and Rodney [Chiweshe] has made some good saves, although he has also dropped some clangers – so we have had some luck along the way.

“To be honest, we played better football last year and lost. But we are making our own luck, grinding out results and managing to keep clean sheets at the same time.”

The Beavers make their first foray into the FA Cup on September 8 with a trip to AFC Kempston Rovers, from the Premier Division of the United Counties League.

Hustwick admitted to knowing nothing about the side, but Harper will be sending his scout to a Kempston match this weekend.

Harper said: “I will get a write-up about them and I will use that going into my training sessions before the match.

“I made that mistake last year when I didn’t send a scout to check out Arlesey and we got knocked out really early in the FA Cup.

“I am not making that mistake again.”