Attack the only form of defence - Pickering Town boss

Gazette & Herald: Mitch Cook Mitch Cook

PICKERING Town chief Mitch Cook says attack is the only form of defence for his free-scoring team.

The Pikes put five past Garforth Town in the Northern Counties East League premier division as they bounced back from their first defeat in five games against Brighouse with a three-point haul.

They were 3-2 down at the break, conceding three goals for the second consecutive game, before surging back in the second half.

Cook is not overly concerned by the profligacy at the back and won’t go all out to recruit more defenders in the new year.

Having been left with a threadbare squad after a number of players moved for the Recreation Ground exit door after former boss Jimmy Reid was dismissed, Cook is happy to play aggressive football despite his inexperienced back line.

“In the previous three or four games before the last two we had only conceded one goal,” he said.

“When I took the job, and with the players that left, we were left with no defenders. The lads that are playing are doing a great job but it’s an inexperienced back line.

“What we have decided to do is attack. We will score goals and outscore the opposition.”

The nap hand on Saturday took the Pikes’ tally to 28 goals in five matches.

“It’s the only way we can play. We can’t do anything different,” added Cook.

“Good players that I want to bring in are not available this season and I don’t see any point in bringing someone in if I don’t think they are good enough.

“We will maybe stick with what we have got and utilise what’s in the under-19s.”

It’s a strategy that worked well for his troops against Garforth – their 5-3 victory moving them up into seventh in the table.

Tony Hackworth fired the Pikes into a sixth-minute lead but it lasted barely 60 seconds as Curtly Martin-Wyatt quickly found an equaliser.

A Hackworth penalty midway through the first half, scored after Ged Dalton had been fouled by Garforth ’keeper Michael Bathurst, restored the advantage, but it was similarly short-lived.

Just two minutes later, Tim Robertson equalised and there had barely been time to take the restart before Josh Greenhalgh put the home side 3-2 in front with a close-range tap-in. The Pikes, though, were much better after the break.

They levelled, controversially, on 64 minutes when Jimmy Beadle took a quick free-kick and rolled the ball into the net with Garforth claiming they were not ready for the set-piece.

Cook said: “I would have been gutted if it was against us but I asked Jimmy and he said he asked the referee if he could take it.

“The referee said yes. Ninety-nine times out of 100 the official doesn’t let it stand. This one, he did.”

The Pikes remained positive after this equaliser but they had to wait until the last two minutes to snatch victory. Josh Greening put them in front and, in stoppage time, Sam Calvert ensured the points were going back to Ryedale.

Pickering: Myers, Hawkes, Batchelor, Patterson, Nock (Taylor 45), Cook, Hackworth, Beadle, Dalton (Fenwick 68), Danby (Calvert 80), Greening.

Next up for Pickering is a home clash against Maltby Main on Saturday, December 28 (3pm).

Main are 16th in the premier division table and Cook believes his side are in for a physical encounter.

“You know what you are going to get,” he added. “They are hard and physical and they are strong.

“If you aren’t expecting that you are going to get a shock. They will also know what to expect from us. We will attack them.”

Cook will be without his son, Nathan, who, following his two yellow cards against Brighouse, picked up another caution against Garforth and will now serve a two-game ban.

Cook, who was also sent to the stands in that Brighouse game after an altercation with an official, has received a letter from the North Riding County FA about the incident and has been asked to respond.

As reported, the Pikes’ Boxing Day game against Bridlington Town has been postponed.

Pickering Under-19s beat Selby Town 5-1, with four goals from Sam Calvert and one from Lewis Taylor.

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