LEWIS Smith is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a double arm break in Tilbury’s 1-1 draw with Aveley.

Smith was back in the Dockers’ colours for the first time since returning to Chadfields from East Thurrock United.

Although Smith put Tilbury ahead, George Allen levelled matters for Aveley, who finished the Isthmian North clash with 10 men as Alex Akrofi saw red.

Smith picked up the nasty injury deep into stoppage time, much to the frustration of Tilbury boss Marc Harrison.

Harrison said: “Lew’s injury is a big blow.

“We will find out over the next couple of days when he will be able to return.

“I would imagine that Lew will not to be available for the next four to six weeks.

“He is a player that we really wanted to return and the deal for him to join us happened really quickly.

“It’s a massive blow for us but we can’t do anything about it.

“We have to accept that he is injured and we hope he will be back sooner rather than later.”

Former Tilbury striker Alex Read intercepted a poorly hit back-pass and took the ball around new Dockers goalkeeper Mitchell Ware only to then direct his shot into the side netting.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the play leading up to the interval, with Brian Moses drawing a good save from David Hughes before, in added time, Smith latched onto a loose ball after some sloppy defending and put Tilbury ahead.

But the Millers equalised on 63 minutes as, despite Ware keeping out Harry Gibbs’ attempt, Allen was on hand to turn home the rebound.

Aveley came close to stealing all three points when, in stoppage time, Jack Mochalski’s cross struck the crossbar.

Instead of bagging a late winner, the visitors were reduced to 10 men as Akrofi was shown a second yellow card.

And the clash ended with Smith being taken to hospital after landing awkwardly, resulting in a double arm break.

Harrison was content with a share of the spoils.

“It was a fair result,” added Harrison.

“I was a lot happier with the performance.

“The players showed a better understanding of what we are wanting.

“I thought we were on top for long periods of the game.

“They had better chances, but we still had our chances.”

However, Aveley skipper Connor Witherspoon felt the Millers deserved to triumph.

Witherspoon said: “You’d take a point before the game but, on the balance of play, we probably deserved a little bit more out of it.

“The first half was fairly even and it’s never good to concede 30 seconds before half-time.

“I thought we had the better chances throughout the game and, on reflection, we were the better side and could have got the three points. But Chadfields is always a tough place to go, so we’ll take the point.”