CHESTER CITY last night completed the signing of midfielder Alex Smith - and the 27-year-old goes straight into the squad who face Morecambe at Christie Park this evening.
This will be Smith's second spell at the Deva Stadium after the Liverpool-born player made 32 appearances and scored two goals in the 1998-99 season.
Smith started his career with Everton, before spells at Swindon Town, Port Vale and Reading, for whom he played last season.
City boss Mark Wright said: "Alex is a tremendous footballer, and will be a great acquisition for this club.
"He has been outstanding during the period that he has been training with us, and I would like to thank the chairman for again funding the acquisition."
Chester, who are unbeaten in their last 12 Nationwide Conference outings, could go to the top of the league this evening if they record a victory on the Fylde coast and leaders Hereford United fail to register a win at FA Cup heroes Accrington Stanley.
"It's a game we are looking forward to, it's a derby match and there will be a good atmosphere there," said Wright.
"The players have trained well lately and been very impressive, and if they can reproduce just 60 or 70 per cent of what they are showing on the training ground then we should be okay.
"Lately we could have done with more luck than we have received. For example a 93rd-minute penalty went against us at Burton, a missed penalty didn't help us against Hereford, and there are other things that just haven't gone our way.
"But it must not be forgotten that we are second in the table."
CHESTER CITY (from): McCaldon, Brown, Heard, Collins, Ruffer, Bolland, Guyett, McIntyre, Smith, Brady, Carden, Davies, Carey, Harris, Stamp, Clare, Foster, Brodie, Rapley.