York City manager Terry Dolan confirmed today that this season's top scorer David McNiven will not be offered a new contract for next season.

However, the City boss has beefed up his rearguard by announcing the club have agreed terms with Reading defender Chris Smith.

Dolan admitted the fact Barry Conlon's proposed switch to Colchester United had fallen through had played a part in his decision to release McNiven.

The former Oldham striker was signed after an impressive trial spell last summer, initially as cover for Peter Duffield and Conlon.

However, after Duffield broke his leg McNiven emerged as City's biggest goal threat with nine goals in just 14 starts before Christmas.

But he was unable to maintain that sizzling form in the second half of the season and the 22-year-old striker added just one more goal to his tally.

"The Barry Conlon situation has obviously played a part in the decision to release David," said Dolan.

"With Barry coming back we have had to bear in mind squad numbers and wages."

Derby-born Smith, 19, played a couple of games on trial at City towards the end of the season and was earmarked by Dolan as one for the future.

He returned to Madejski Stadium but was due to be released by Reading in the summer and Dolan has moved quickly to land the young defender.

"He is the right age, eager and looking forward to the challenge," said the City manager, who has also held talks with Neville Stamp, a former Reading team-mate of Smith.

The City boss said talks with Nick Richardson over a new deal have also been "progressing".

Updated: 11:44 Friday, May 25, 2001