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Defence is key in Pickering Town run
1:23pm Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Sport
Pickering Town manager Jimmy Reid has praised his side’s defensive resolve ahead of tonight’s (Wednesday’s) match against Barton Town Old Boys, writes Jamie Presland.
The Pikes beat Liversedge 3-0 in the Northern Counties East League premier division on Saturday to notch a third straight win ahead of the midweek trip to fifth-placed Barton (7.45pm).
Reid was delighted with a second straight clean sheet for his team and has now set them the target of remaining unbeaten up to the FA Vase clash with Billingham Synthonia on November 17, six games away.
The first week of that target will be difficult as Barton have lost only once in 15 league outings while their hosts on Saturday, Worksop Parramore, lie second in the table and are the division’s joint top scorers. But Reid said: “We’ve turned the corner and it’s getting a bit better.
“Barton is a big match for us – they are doing well and pushing up the league like us. But we are aiming to get to the FA Vase undefeated. We’re keeping a few clean sheets now, and are trying to keep this run going for as long as we can.”
The Pikes will be forced into making changes to the line-up on Wednesday. A number of first-team regulars are unavailable and midfielder Ged Dalton, who netted against Liversedge, is carrying an injury.
Reid said: “As long as we are playing well I’ll try to keep the team settled, but some of the lads from the sidelines will be getting a chance this week, the likes of Lewis Taylor and James Patterson.
“We’re looking forward to the game. The boys have dealt well with most of the challenges put before them.”The Pikes made a slow start on Saturday, but eased past Liversedge to move up to 13th in the league.
Home goalkeeper Aaron Reid had to be alert as Liversedge made the early chances, Matthew Bugg heading the best of these over the bar.
But Pickering began to exert control over the game and could have taken the lead, Ged Dalton and Liam Shepherd seeing shots superbly saved by Paul Hagreen.
But the Pikes didn’t have to wait long as Dalton opened the scoring in the 35th minute, beating two men and firing through the legs of Hagreen.
The home team doubled their lead 10 minutes later, Liam Salt extending his scoring run as he notched the second on the stroke of half-time.
Liversedge almost halved the deficit immediately after the break, Dean Readman clearing off the line, but Salt grabbed his second goal a minute later to secure the points.
The Pikes hot-shot has now hit 14 goals this season, and seven in the last five games.
After the match, Reid said: “We are now up into 13th position in the table with games in hand. We made a slow start but got the right result and a second successive clean sheet.”
After Saturday’s game at Worksop, Pickering host Northern League second division side Thornaby in the North Riding Senior Cup first round.