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Pickering Town raising their game, says manager
3:35pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 in Sport
Pickering Town manager Jimmy Reid lauded his side’s squad depth after two encouraging performances in the space of a week, writes Nick Wright.
Although they were defeated 1-0 by fifth-placed Barton Town Old Boys last Wednesday night, Liam Salt’s brace proved to be the difference in an impressive 2-0 victory over second-placed Worksop Parramore on Saturday, moving the Pikes up to 12th position in the Baris Northern Counties East League premier division.
Reid said: “On Wednesday, we did enough to win, never mind draw, but we’re very pleased with our performance on Saturday. Liam Salt was on fire.
“We’ve got a few new faces in, like John Edge and Tom Clark, who’ve done very well and improved the squad, which raises everyone’s game.
“At the start of the season, we were getting beaten by the top sides – now we’re beating them.”
The Pikes belied their current mid-table standing by more than holding their own against a Worksop outfit that have serious promotion ambitions and the credentials to match, having lost only once in their previous six games.
Leading scorer Salt’s goals, one at the end of each half, were just reward for a tenacious Pikes performance in a game that could have gone either way.
The first half set the tone for an evenly contested fixture, with both sides having numerous chances.
Chris Gowan came close with a free-kick, while Steve Baxter, Liam Shepherd and the predatory Salt all saw good chances saved by home goalkeeper Steve Hernandez.
At the other end, Pikes ’keeper Arran Reid made two fine saves from Worksop advances, but the decisive moment in the half came in the last minute, when Thomas Reid’s free-kick from the right wing hit the crossbar and rebounded to Salt, who used his poacher’s instincts to head home.The second half began in a similar vein to the first, as both sides competed for the upper hand, before disaster struck for the home side midway through the half, as play was suspended for 30 minutes while Worksop’s leading scorer, Lee Whittington, was carried off with a suspected fractured cheekbone.
This seemed to destabilise the home side, and in the last minute, Salt scored his second goal of the game when he received the ball from a left-wing cross by Tom Fenwick and fired into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Pikes were due to play Wearsiders Thornaby last night (Tuesday) in the North Riding County FA Senior Cup first round, while on Saturday, the Pikes resume their league campaign at home to Long Eaton United (3pm).
A hotly contested fixture lies in store, with the visitors seeking to avenge a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Heanor Town last week, their first loss since August.
Pickering (v Barton Town Old Boys): A Reid, T Reid, Gowan, Readman, Sturdy, Taylor (Patterson 82), Clark (Fenwick 73), Heads, Baxter (Danby 78), Salt, Shepherd. Attendance: 103.
Pickering (v Worksop Parramore): A Reid, T Reid, Gowan, Readman, Sturdy, Taylor, Clark (Fenwick 65), Heads, Baxter (Danby 86), Salt, Shepherd. Subs not used: Craig, Patterson.