PICKERING Town boss Mitch Cook admits it won’t be “just another game” when Bridlington Town arrive at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.
Cook spent two years in charge of the Pikes’ Northern Counties East League premier division derby rivals and reckons there will be an edge to proceedings.
“I was manager there for two years and we had two really good years,” he said of his time with the coastal club.
“Bridlington’s reputation over the last five or six years has been excellent. It is a brilliantly well-run club.
“Obviously it is not just another game and I want to win. There are a few players in our changing room that will be thinking the same thing. That’s how football is.
“We know what it will be. It is a game that will have an edge to it.”
Pickering’s NCEL League Cup third round tie at home to first division outfit Dronfield Town last night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, so they go into this weekend’s clash on the back of last Saturday’s excellent 2-1 win over Retford Town – a result which delighted Cook.
He said: “They hadn’t lost an away game all season. They had won nine and drawn four so we knew we would have to do something right.
“Their manager was really delighted with how they played and, while it was 2-1, it was a comfortable result for us.
“We had a couple of opportunities for penalties and we missed a couple of really good chances in the second half.
“We did really well. We were very happy. We had wanted to go through the whole month of February unbeaten, with all of our games being at home, but we lost last weekend. We bounced back well and what we need is some consistency.”
Pickering had a strong wind at their advantage in the first half and, after just six minutes, Robbie Hawkes hit a 20-yard shot just wide of the goal.
Harry Coates, who, along with Daniel Andrew, was one of two York City trainees in the Pickering team, also fired wide after Josh Greening’s effort was blocked.
The Pikes took a deserved lead on 27 minutes when Lewis Taylor set-up Joe Danby to slot home a 10-yard shot which went under Retford ’keeper Jody Barford’s body.
They were well on top from that point – creating further chances for Greening, whose shot was tipped round a post, Taylor and Hawkes, whose 20-yard effort hit the bar.
Barford had to tip Batchelor’s long-range effort away after that and it was only a matter of time before Pickering scored again.
They did so in the 42nd minute when Taylor’s 25-yard effort hit the roof of the Retford net.
Holding the wind advantage in the second period, Retford improved.
Skipper James O’Neill hit wide from 16 yards 20 minutes into the second half and home goalkeeper Callum Myers did well to prevent Liam Wilkin from narrowing the deficit.
They finally scored with 12 minutes remaining.
A good move involving Wilkin and Paddy Mullin allowed substitute Richard Medcalf a simple tap-in.
But any thoughts of a full recovery were snuffed out when they were reduced to 10 men with five minutes remaining – Rob Sanderson sent off for foul and abusive language.
Greening, Tony Hackworth and Coates, who had an effort cleared off the goalline by Medcalf, could all have increased Pickering’s lead in the final stages as they grabbed all three points.
Top scorer Joe Danby had to be replaced at half-time by Ged Dalton but Cook believes he could be fit for the visit of Bridlington.
Pickering: Myers, Hawkes, Batchelor, Patterson, Hackworth, Cook, Andrew, Taylor, Danby (Dalton 45), Coates, Greening. Subs not used: Fenwick, Micklethwaite, Henderson, Giles.