TEENAGE centre-back Elliott Braithwaite's calm assurance has won praise from Hampton & Richmond Borough boss Alan Devonshire.
The 18-year-old Braithwaite partnered John Scarborough in the absence of the suspended Dean Wells and Orlando Jeffrey as the Beavers won a tricky FA Cup Third Qualifying Round tie against Whyteleafe 2-0 on Saturday.
The win earned them another home tie on Saturday week against Brackley, mid-table in Southern League One SW.
Dev said: "Young Elliott is certainly one for the future and it means we now have strong competition at the back.
"It was not the prettiest of wins on Saturday, but we did a good job on a side who had shown they are no mugs with their win over Welling in the last round."
Devonshire's faithful on-field lieutenant Lawrence Yaku sealed victory, opening the scoring in the 18th minute and setting up the second for Barrie Matthews 13 minutes from the end.
"He never disappoints me," said Devonshire. "Yaks has played for me nearly five years, and though he might miss a few easy ones, he gets goals that other players would not come near."
Hampton switch their attentions back to the race for Blue Square South points this week, hosting surprise leaders Team Bath on Saturday and fifth-placed Maidenhead on Tuesday.
"I'd be delighted if we come through those two games unscathed," added Devonshire, who hopes Ian Hodges will have recovered enough from his recent knee injury to play a part in at least one of the games.
While Wells is back from suspension, Jeffrey serves the last of his three-game ban.
"Bath are a full-time outfit who are very mobile and well-drilled," said Devonshire.
"But we are really beginning to put things together after an up-and-down start to the season."
* ASHFORD Town (Middx) drew Conference side Forest Green Rovers at home in the FA Cup Fourth qualifying Round after Scott Todd's goal gave them a 1-0 win over Chippenham.
But Mark Butler's men went down 3-1 at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night, Adam Logie bagging their consolation.