THEY proved to be the end of the road for Jimmy Reid, and successor Mitch Cook didn’t enjoy any better fortune as his Pickering Town side were crushed by Barton Town Old Boys in the Northern Counties East League premier division.
Reid had seen his men beaten by four goals in the last match of his Recreation Ground reign and the Pikes went down 6-2 at the weekend as the visiting side dominated nearly every aspect of the game.
Cook felt the scoreline did not fully reflect the contest, as Pickering - from 4-0 behind at half-time - made some inroads in the second half before conceding two late goals.
He said: “We got punished for any mistakes that we made. That’s what happens when you play a team that are around the top of the league. They played like that.
“We spoke at half-time about what we could do and we got ourselves back into it. We were pushing on and we left ourselves open so it gives it a bit of a false impression.
“We didn’t deserve to win but I didn’t think it was 6-2.”
Barton went in front on nine minutes, former Kirkbymoorside player Ryan Cooper slotting the ball past Callum Myers after a superb through ball from Scott Phillips found an unmarked Gareth Barlow, but Pickering could have trailed even before then - Ashley Lattimore and Ryan Cooper both coming close to breaking the deadlock.
Pickering rallied briefly. York City trainee Harry Coates had a couple of efforts, Robbie Hawkes had a shot sail over the crossbar and Joe Danby put the ball in the net midway through the first half only to see it ruled out for offside.
But Barton doubled their lead after 25 minutes with a tremendous bolt into the corner from 20 yards from Lattimore and they missed two easy chances to increase that tally in the next five minutes. It was inevitable they would grab their third, though, and a Lattimore corner, on 34 minutes, found skipper Ashley Dexter. He scored a superb header.
The Pikes’ defending was extremely poor and Tim Taylor hit the outside of the post from just outside the box as Barton threatened to add a fourth before half-time.
Having endured a torrid first half, Pickering started better after the restart and former Mill Lane left-back Chris Gowan had to clear off the line from a Lewis Taylor free-kick.
It didn’t last. Barton once more be- EYE ON THE BALL: Pickering’s Ged Dalton, above left, controls a bouncing ball.
Left, Josh Greening with the acrobatics Pictures: David Harrison gan to reassert their superiority and Phillips headed in at the far post after a set-piece from Tim Taylor on 64 minutes.
Now trailing 4-0, the Pikes finally got on the board when substitute Ged Dalton was bundled over in the area and Tony Hackworth converted the penalty.
They got a second goal on 73 minutes as Barton momentarily took their foot off the pedal. Hackworth was again the scorer, striking from six yards from a Lewis Taylor freekick.
Two late goals completed Barton’s comprehensive victory. They were both scored by Gareth Barlow, in the 88th and 90th minutes, to put the seal on a crushing performance.
Pickering: Myers, Hawkes, Batchelor, Patterson, Hackworth, Cook, Andrew (Dalton 45), Taylor, Danby, Coates (Calvert 77), and Greening. Micklethwaite, Henderson, and Giles not used.
The Pikes were due to play their re-arranged NCEL premier division home game with Bridlington Town at the Recreation Ground last night (Tuesday) and on Saturday they are at Liversedge (kick off 3pm).
Cook’s men have also received a home draw in the League Cup quarter-final. They will entertain either Brighouse Town or Long Eaton United. If the latter win, it will be staged on Tuesday, March 18.
Should Brighouse prevail, the two sides will meet on March 20.
The Pikes’ U19s, meanwhile, continued their unbeaten Northern U19s Alliance Football League season with a 4-0 home win over Scarborough Athletic.
William Bell opened the scoring after 34 minutes and Sam Ripley- Kitson got the second on the stroke of half-time.
Sam Calvert on 52 minutes and a Rory Skelton own-goal, with 69 minutes on the clock, completed the scoring. They have a game at Selby Town to rearrange.