TIVIDALE have clinched the signing of experienced central defender Mark Smith in time for the start of their Midland Alliance campaign.

Former Halesowen Town player Smith has more recently spent time with Stourport Swifts and Romulus, but has trained with Tividale this summer.

Manager Stuart Scriven said: “I’ve tried to sign Mark in the past, but had no joy.

“Although he’s been training with us and featured in three friendlies, there was interest from other clubs and I’m delighted he’s chosen us, because he has real pedigree.”

Scriven has also secured the services of 17-year-old midfield player Aaron Baines — who the Tivi boss believes will go onto play at a higher level.

Tividale embark on their Midland Alliance campaign this Saturday when they entertain Highgate United at Packwood Road, followed by a trip to newly promoted Walsall Wood on Tuesday night.

The Beeches side warmed up for the task with a 1-1 draw with the Yeltz last Saturday, Nathan Waite equalising after Jean-Michel Gueyes had earlier fired Halesowen ahead.

n Dudley Town boss Andy Wyton has fired a broadside at his players following a 2-1 defeat against Gornal Athletic Reserves.

Wyton said: “We were awful and not where we want to be at this stage.”

The Robins chief has been forced to re-arrange his pre-season schedule after Wednesday’s fixture with Causeway United fell through.

Town will now take on Kidderminster League side Dudley Wood Athletic at The Dell. They then host Enville Athletic on Saturday.

Wyton has also persuaded Geoff Hill to return this season after he initially said he could not commit.