CHRIS Smith is expected to win his battle for fitness in time for Worcester City's clash at Harrogate Town this Saturday.

The influential defender was ruled out of Bank Holiday Monday's 2-1 Nationwide North defeat to Droylsden with an injured ankle.

Smith could only hobble around the St George's Lane sidelines as his team-mates threw away a 35th minute lead provided by full-back Les Hines.

It was the first competitive match missed by the 24-year-old following his transfer from league rivals Stafford Rangers earlier this summer.

But Worcester player-manager Andy Preece is hopeful Smith will be back for the trip to Yorkshire.

"Chris is still being troubled by his ankle," said Preece.

"He could be struggling for a few days but we are hoping he will be fit for Saturday.

"Knowing the character that he is, Chris will be back for Harrogate. But we have to get as much treatment into him as we can."

Smith has made an impressive start at City with his tackling, pace and positional sense already making him a favourite among supporters.

He is also the club's leading goalscorer this season with two strikes to his name, popping up from defence to punish Gainsborough Trinity and Workington Town.