Consistency the key for Pickering Town

Josh Greening

Josh Greening

First published in Sport

MORE of the same is what Pickering Town boss Mitch Cook requires from his men against Long Eaton on Saturday.

The Pikes chief was “delighted” with a 3-1 home Northern Counties East League premier division victory over Worksop Parramore last weekend and has thrown the gauntlet down.

That’s the standard that must be maintained for the rest of the campaign, he said, as Pickering strive to find some consistency.

“I know the players and I know what they are capable of. It is about getting it out of them week in and week out,” said Cook.

“They were ready and up for it. There was a tempo up front and it was a good game played in really difficult conditions.”

With Worksop hanging around the top six in the table, Cook’s team got off to a fast start – creating three good chances in the first quarter of an hour. Joe Danby’s weak finish was easily saved by Worksop’s Steve Hernandez, who then saved superbly from Josh Greening.

Ten minutes later, Greening was clean through on goal with only the ’keeper to beat but he shot wide.

Worksop had their own good spell, with leading scorer Ryan Johnson shooting wide of goal, before Callum Myers saved from Lee Hill and Lee Whittington skied his follow-up over the bar in the six-yard area.

Pickering made them pay for their profligacy when the opening goal arrived on the half-hour mark.

Greening beat two defenders and scored with a 12-yard angled shot.

Worksop replied strongly, Craig Fletcher shooting over within a minute and Luke Fletcher having a shot cleared off the line.But Ged Dalton almost finished off a 50-yard Joe Danby run at the other end and, in first-half stoppage time, the Pikes doubled their advantage.

Chris Batchelor’s free-kick found Dalton at the far post and he set up skipper Jamie Patterson to fire home from three yards.

Worksop had more of the play in the second half and they did score after 71 minutes when a free kick was headed in by Ryan Johnson.

On the hunt for an equaliser, substitute Jack Poulton set-up Jordan Eagers only for his effort to go over the crossbar and, three minutes from time, Myers saved superbly from Whittington.

The Pickering custodian, who should soon be joined at the club by former Tadcaster stopper Leon Wrigglesworth, then made two outstanding saves from Hill and Poulton before sending his team clear on the break.

Sam Calvert’s blistering left-wing run and cross allowed Greening to score his second of the game.

Cook said: “Worksop have got games in hand, they’ve been looking to sign players and it was a really good game which we deserved to win. I was delighted.

“It’s about consistency now. That’s what has been missing. We have had performances like this before and then the next game hasn’t been as good. We want the same again.”

Pickering: Myers, Hawkes (Micklethwaite 75), Batchelor, Patterson, Hackworth, Cook, Dalton (Calvert 87), Taylor, Danby, Henderson, Greening. Subs not used: Fenwick, Giles.

Saturday sees 10th-placed Long Eaton come to the Recreation Ground and Cook added of this weekend’s opponents: “We want to continue what we did last week. It will be a difficult game but everyone should be available.”

Pickering Town Under-19s, meanwhile, have won the Northern U19s Alliance League north division title with two games remaining following a 2-2 draw at Pontefract Collieries.

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