NEW signing Ben Smith could make his Maldon and Tiptree debut in tonight’s Ryman North derby at Witham Town.

An ankle injury suffered in training prevented the 35-year-old playing any part in Saturday’s excellent 2-0 victory against Harlow.

However, he could figure tonight and boss Terry Spillane said: “What a footballer.

“He’s got so much quality, he’s very fit and he’s got so much experience, having played hundreds of games in the Football League.

“As soon as we knew he was being released by Thurrock it was a no-brainer to bring him here to Maldon.

“You can see his quality in training, but it was unfortunate that he picked up an ankle injury in training last Thursday.

“There was no way we were going to risk him at the weekend – but there’s a chance he might play tonight.”

Smith started his career as a youth-teamer at Arsenal before going on to play for the likes of Yeovil, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Weymouth and Crawley.

While with the latter, he played in an FA Cup tie at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.