IYSEDEN Christie's troublesome foot is giving Kidderminster Harriers boss Stuart Watkiss more cause for concern ahead of their latest Nationwide Conference test tonight.

The Harriers striker has yet another infection around the metal plate he had inserted after breaking his foot playing for Mansfield Town in March 2004.

Christie, 28, visited the doctor yesterday and is likely to be dosed up with antibiotics, but remains a doubt for the game with Canvey Island at Aggborough.

However, Watkiss believes the forward, yet to score in a competitive match, has a better chance of making the team than the game against Scarborough which he missed with a similar problem.

Three-goal loan man Taiwo Atieno will be fit after twisting his ankle in Monday's robust 2-0 victory at Cambridge United.

Michael Blackwood has recovered from a hamstring problem so battles with Gareth Sheldon for the place up front if Christie fails a late fitness test, while Daryl Burgess should figure despite not training due to an ankle knock.

Watkiss said: "Iyseden got up yesterday to find his foot swollen and red and he went off to the doctors. But the infection is not as advanced as the one that forced him to miss the Scarborough game.

"We are hopeful it will not rule him out but I have to say he's a doubt. It's a bit of a stop-start scenario for him and he needs to be playing because he had a bad time last season.

"It's frustrating for Iyseden, myself and for the team because we know what an asset he is when fully fit and he needs games to get his sharpness back. If he doesn't make it, his place will go to Sheldon or Blackwood."

Watkiss feels Harriers have a good defensive foundation to build on after their first clean sheet of the season at Cambridge in a generally solid start to the season.

Watkiss said: "If we're going to maintain a challenge of any kind, we have got to stem the flow of goals we conceded last season.

"The early signs have been good but we've got to do it over a sustained period. We don't want to get carried away at this stage."

The central pairing of skipper Mark Jackson and Burgess are using their combined experience of 720 games as professionals to full effect at the back so far.

Full-backs Wayne Evans and Wayne Hatswell have added to the resilient mix which has seen Harriers lose just one of their first five games.

Tonight's clash sees Harriers up against a Canvey Island side who are not expected to be among the division's front-runners.

The Essex outfit have picked up 2-1 wins over early strugglers Aldershot and Burton but otherwise slipped to defeat against Accrington (1-0), Gravesend (2-1) and Dagenham & Redbridge (2-1).

Watkiss added: "Canvey Island have got experience and some good professionals, like left-back Stuart Bimson and midfielders Ben Sedgemore and Jeff Minton.

"Lee Boylan has scored a lot of goals at non-league level. We have got to try and take the game by the scruff of the neck."