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Judgement day for Pickering Town
3:35pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
The Pikes continued their fine run of league form with a 2-1 win over Thackley last weekend, their fourth on the spin, and climbed into seventh place in the table.
They were last night (Tuesday) bidding to reach the North Riding Senior Cup final in a last-four clash with Guisborough Town at the Recreation Ground and they finish a spell Reid called the “biggest eight days of the season” with a hotly-anticipated match at the seaside with their derby rivals.
Pickering struggled against Thackley, taking all three points with John Heads’ late winner, but Reid was pleased to get the result and believes that game, and the Scarborough clash, will provide a measure of how his team are shaping up as he looks to secure a place in the top six.
“We only played for about 25 minutes against Thackley,” he said. “We looked a bit leggy and Dean Readman cleared one off the line but the substitutes made a difference and Steve Brown (coach) wasn’t happy in the first half.
“We’ve played a lot of teams towards the bottom of the league and these (Thackley and Scarborough) are the games you get judged on.”
Thackley had the majority of the play in the first half and the home team didn’t threaten until 37 minutes when Liam Salt’s right-wing cross saw Lewis Taylor head straight at ’keeper Tom Carlisle.
The visitors took the lead four minutes before the break when Mark Bett scored with a low shot. It was no more than they deserved.
Thackley’s dominance continued in the early stages of the second half and Jordan Missin and Bett both went close.
Carlisle saved from Liam Shepherd soon after but Missin fired over the crossbar as Thackley posed the greater threat.
Reid rang the changes – introducing Ryan Braithwaite on the hour mark and Ged Dalton after 69 minutes, and this changed the game.Within three minutes, the Pikes were level. Shepherd found Chris Gowen, whose run and cross saw Ged Dalton net with a neat finish.
Pickering were now on top. Heads’ 20-yard shot just cleared the bar and Steve Baxter’s excellent effort on 80 minutes was tipped round a post.
The subsequent corner saw Matt Morgan clear off the line from a Heads header with Carlisle beaten.
In the Pikes’ goal, Dave Bramley produced a wonderful save to keep out Matt Hall’s 18-yard effort before the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Nicky Matthews was sent off for using foul and abusive language.
Readman saved Pickering when clearing off the line from John Mallison before the Pikes took the lead with two minutes left.
A superb move ended with Baxter hitting a post, Heads reacting the quickest to score from close range.
Pickering: Bramley, Reid, Gowen, Readman, Sturdy, Taylor (Dalton), Patterson, Heads, Baxter, Salt (Braithwaite 59), Shepherd (Danby 75). Subs not used: Calvert, Fenwick.
Pickering will be hoping to complete a league double over Scarborough on Saturday (3pm). Athletic have lost only two league games all season but one of those was when Reid’s men recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Recreation Ground in October.
Pickering Under-19s entertain Scarborough tonight (Wednesday, 7.30pm) on a high after their 6-0 win over Pocklington Town last week, in which Sam Calvert scored a hat-trick.
• KIRKBYMOORSIDE return to Wearside League action tonight (Wednesday) following their weekend off with a quick rematch away to Peterlee Town (7.30pm). The Moorsiders lost 4-1 to Peterlee 11 days ago. Kirkby, who are 17th, then go to Seaton Carew, who lie one place above them, on Saturday (2.30pm).