ELMSTEAD captain Aidan O'Brien believes his table-topping team can still improve.

The Vicarage Meadow side are the surprise package in this season's Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

Having only been promoted last year, they are proudly sitting at the top of division one with just one defeat so far.

Proud O'Brien is refusing to get carried away and believes a top-half finish would represent an excellent season for his side.

However, he sees no reason why they should fall away and believes he and his in-form team-mates still have "additional gears to go through".

"I know it sounds like a cliché but there really is a good vibe around the club this year, even before the season started," he said.

"The team spirit is unbelievable and has given us that extra dimension.

"The core of the side is younger, while aided with some experienced veterans.

"Jordan Elliott, Elmstead through and through, has come back now we're playing division one cricket again and so has Ryan Vickery.

"Ashan (Athurkoralage) also followed suit and returned for a second spell after a stint with Clacton.

"The recruitment has only helped aid the atmosphere around the club, with some known faces who fit the team dynamic.

"We're not going to get carried away and will take each game as it comes.

"Our main objective is still to remain and finish in the top half.

"Having said that, I really feel we have additional gears to go through and our best cricket remains ahead of us."

Elmstead were involved in a thrilling tied match at home to Mistley last Saturday.

Elliott picked up a vital wicket with the very last ball of the game to ensure both sides finished on 201 runs.

"Over the years, we've had many close games against Mistley but this is the one to top it," said O'Brien.

"What a game for the neutral.

"I didn't enjoy one moment of it until Jordan got that final wicket, though.

"We really didn’t perform as a team and I felt we were chasing the game from the start.

"We had a good crowd in attendance, aided by the second team finishing early, who were extremely vocal and that gave us a much-needed push to keep going until the end.

"Luckily, our plans paid off and we walked off the field feeling as if it was a win.

"Hats off to (Mistley counterpart) Daniel Goff and the Mistley boys.

"They deserved to win and played good cricket throughout.

"If there's something to take from the game, it's that anything can happen and to just keep fighting until the end."

O'Brien, who inherited the captaincy from now chairman Jon Butcher at the start of last season, hopes his side's bright start continues at Witham tomorrow.

"They're a good side who will be tough to beat," he added.

"The table doesn’t reflect that and it just emphasises how tight the division is this year.

"We'll need to perform better than we did against Mistley, but I’m confident we can hit our straps and put on a solid display."