YORK City defender and fan favourite Chris Smith made his first start of the season last night but admitted it was one to forget.

The return to action of Smith, out since the end of last season following a hernia operation, was about the only positive for City as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Bury.

Smith, a second-half substitute for injured player-boss Chris Brass, said: "It was my first appearance but unfortunately it was not one to remember.

"It was a very disappointing performance and all the lads are disappointed too.

"We haven't played well and all we can do is try and put it right on Saturday.

"We are just really annoyed and we have four days to mull it over and make sure we do get it right at the weekend."

He added: "They pressured us well but we knew they were going to do that.

"I think we gave them too much time and they pumped the ball forward, got it in the danger areas and got the seconds, and that's how they scored."

With Brass a doubt for Saturday, Smith could be on stand by for a starting berth.

Despite a lack of match practice, the former Reading defender reckons he's ready to go if called upon.

"I felt the game was fast but I've come through with no knocks so that is a relief," he said.

"I played for the reserves against Notts County last week and that was my first full game since April.

"I've only really had that one game but I feel fit enough and physically I'm getting there.

"If the gaffer isn't right then, hopefully, I will be able to step in."

Updated: 11:18 Wednesday, October 01, 2003