GIANT striker Matt Smith has re-joined Redditch United on loan until February to provide a boost for the struggling Blue Square Bet North outfit.

Smith joined in time to play in Redditch’s 5-0 defeat at home to Nuneaton Town and was one of the few positives in a game where they were outplayed.

Smith scored seven goals for the Reds in the early part of the season before departing for promotion chasers Droylsden, close to where he is studying.

He will add firepower to an attack in which Marco Adaggio is still coming back from injury.

As well as the heavy defeat, Redditch suffered more woe as Nathan Smith broke an ankle and front runners Phil Green and Sam Malsom were also injured.

Both are doubtful for Sunday’s Boxing Day fixture at home to Solihull Moors (3pm)should it go ahead, whilst Smith is definitely out.

Gardiner was not happy with the of performance against Nuneaton, which would have seen them off the bottom of the table with just a point.

He said: “It was going back to the level of our early season performances and I think the players know they didn’t do well enough and just drifted through the game at times.

“We were playing a good side, but never really tested them and we need to do better than that if we are to get out of trouble.

“The players know what is required of them to play at this level and I think they got the message after the game.

“We are level on points with Stafford and have a game in hand on Hyde so all is not lost but we will have to dig out some better performances than the Nuneaton game.

“Matt (Smith) coming back is a real positive - he has proved he can score goals at this level and could be the boost we need up front where we are very depleted.”

Redditch’s next game after the Solihull one is on Tuesday December 28 at AFC Telford.

* Studley manager Lee Adams feels there may not be any football played until well into January.

The Christmas fixture at Alvechurch next Monday (3pm) is in serious doubt.

If it doesn’t go ahead, it means Studley will not have played for well over a month, since the game at Tipton Town.

Whilst it gives Adams the chance to get some players fit, he knows it is not ideal in terms of also not being able to train.

He said: “I have to rely on the players keeping in shape themselves and I know they will do this.

“The Alvechurch game would be a good one for the players and spectators and hopefully it will go ahead but at the moment I can’t see it.”