Greening to boost Pickering Town attack, but Joe lays claim to keep Salt’s striking spot (From Gazette & Herald)
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Greening to boost Pickering Town attack, but Joe Danby lays claim to keep Liam Salt’s striking spot
3:01pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Sport
DELIGHTED boss Jimmy Reid feels the in-form Joe Danby can fill the large gap left by prolific Pickering Town striker Liam Salt – despite the fact he is eyeing new blood, writes Josh Luckhurst.
Danby has bagged an impressive tally of nine goals in eight Northern Counties East League games so far this season, which included a hat-trick in the Pikes’ 6-2 demolition of Staveley Miners Welfare on Saturday and two in the midweek 7-1 thrashing of Winterton Rangers, repaying the faith of his manager.
Reid is still looking to bolster his attacking options, with Josh Greening likely to sign this week from Scarborough Athletic and Chris Batchelor, a regular scorer from midfield, indicating he will rejoin after his last cricket match for Great Ayton this Saturday.
However, with Salt sidelined as he recovers from a serious knee injury – potentially out for the season – Danby has come to the fore.
Reid said: “We played him at left wing until Salty was out, and we’ve since played him down the middle and he’s been playing well. He has a majestic left foot and he has scored possibly the best three goals I have seen down here.”
It does not sound like good news for crocked striker Salt, though, as the Pickering manager explained: “He’s away at the moment but he will get his results when he is back and see whether he needs surgery. We will be lucky if we see him this season though.”
In addition to praising free-scoring striker Danby, Reid was also quick to hail his new centre-half, Nathan Cook. The defender, who was signed from Scarborough Athletic, got on the scoresheet while also stopping Staveley attacks at the other end of the pitch.
“He’s a big, strong lad, who is a great addition to the side,” said Reid. “He looks like he will be a regular for us this season.”
The pair’s good performances in recent weeks won’t stop Reid from looking to improve his side, who were eighth in the premier division table after the weekend.
When asked whether Danby could fill in for Salt all season – and come close to Salt’s tally of 36 goals last term – the Pikes boss said the pair were two different types of player and that he could well look for another striker to bolster his options up front, as well as a couple other players to add to the recent recruitment of Cook.
Greening, who was prolific with Bridlington Town last season, could add such firepower.
Meanwhile, Reid reckoned Saturday’s result was a fair reflection of his side’s dominance, saying home comforts were the key to their recent success, the team now being back at Mill Lane having begun the season with a flurry of away games – bagging 13 goals in their last two games there.
“It is our Wembley,” he said. “The pitch is in fantastic nick and we are a passing team so it’s easier for us. We have also had a lot of long journeys like Long Eaton away on a Tuesday night so there was less pressure there.”
Saturday’s game was also notable for the performance of Middlesbrough referee Matthew Dicicco, he cautioned 10 players, six for the Pikes and four for visitors Staveley, who also had a player sent off.
The Pikes included new signing Cook at right-back in place of Thomas Reid, who had a slight hamstring problem. Cook left the Pikes two years ago to join Bridlington Town along with his manager father Mitch Cook. This season he has been with Scarborough Athletic.
Pickering took the lead after 12 minutes when Liam Shepherd combined well with Ged Dalton to set up Danby to score from close range.
Staveley almost levelled when a defensive mix-up allowed Jordan Turner an open goal, albeit from wide on the right, but goalkeeper Arran Reid got back and tipped the ball over. However, an equaliser did come after an excellent move by Rob Ludlum and Nathan Benger and a superb finish by Jordan Turner.
Within a minute, the Pikes regained the lead. Shepherd’s cross-field pass saw Danby flick the ball to Dalton, who scored from an acute angle.
Staveley quickly equalised again with a cracker from Turner into the bottom corner, and he almost completed his hat-trick, denied firstly by a timely tackle by Baxter and later by a fine save from Reid, who also kept out a 25-yard effort by Colliver.
Dalton, Shepherd and Cook all went close at the other end.
The second half belonged solely to the Pikes, however, after Staveley had Matt Thorpe sent off on 55 minutes.
Within two minutes, Danby scored after good work by Lewis Taylor, who soon netted himself after excellent work by Dalton.
A good move started by Cook and involving John Heads saw Danby complete his treble after 82 minutes and the sixth goal arrived on 88 minutes when Cook out-jumped the defence to head home following a Shepherd free kick.
Tom Adams, who had his best game so far this season, also went close in stoppage time with a 45-yard lob, ‘keeper Lawrence Matthewson retreating to tip the ball over.
Pickering: A Reid, Cook, Gowen (Heads 57), Readman, Sturdy, Taylor, Dalton (Hawkes 61), Adams, Baxter (Fenwick 65), Danby, Shepherd. Subs not used: T Reid, Ramm. Attendance: 105.
The Pikes’s home win over lowly Winterton last Tuesday saw first-half goals by Taylor after 17 minutes, James Branford, with an equaliser after 28 minutes, Danby on 36 minutes and Shepherd on 37.
Second-half home strikes came from Shepherd, Danby, Dalton and Tom Fenwick, in front of a crowd of 83.
The Pikes were taking on Brighouse Town last night, a team they have failed to beat in the last three meetings – including last season’s draw when they played with 10 men for 70 minutes after their goalkeeper’s dismissal.
On Saturday, the Pikes host Northern League side Crook Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase (3pm). Crook have won three and lost three of their seven league games to date.
Next Tuesday, the Pikes are at home to Garforth Town in the league (7.45pm).
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