MITCH COOK hailed his team's character after Pickering Town returned to winning ways.

The Pikes' boss had been forlorn as his side suffered two terrible defeats against Long Eaton United and Tadcaster Albion, but they beat Parkgate 2-1 at the weekend in the Northern Counties East League premier division.

Josh Greening and Sam Calvert got the goals as Cook stressed his team would continue to push hard to improve on their current position of eighth in the table.

Cook said: "The most important thing was to get the win. We didn't perform against Tadcaster or against Long Eaton United. No one likes losing and we played well on Saturday and probably deserved to win more than 2-1.

"We were well on top at 1-0 and they scored with virtually their only chance but we came back strongly and could have had a couple more.

"I know the players and I know what they are like. When you don't play well it hurts and they are a good group. Winning is the best feeling there is."

Greening opened the scoring after six months when cutting inside, executing a couple of step-overs and curling a shot into the top corner.

Chris Batchelor went close five minutes later, just clearing the crossbar, and Pikes debutant keeper Tom Woodhead, signed last Friday from Pontefract Colliery, was called into action to save from Michael Jones.

Parkgate should have had a penalty after 33 minutes when Tony Hackworth held Scott Whittington when he was clean through on goal while, at the other end, Joe Danby went close.

After the second-half began with Parkgate's Ben Langford heading over the bar, Pickering's Robbie Hawkes, Danby, and Greening all had efforts saved by keeper Davie Reay, who pushed the latter's effort onto the post.

The visitors equalised after 74 minutes when Jones scored with a powerful header with Pickering's marking from a set-piece at fault.

But the home side found the winner 11 minutes from time when Hawke's dashing run down the left found substitute Calvert, who scored at the second attempt from close range.

Oliver Smith and Niall Tilsley, who made their bows in the Parkgate win, have arrived on work experience from York City - extending Pickering' partnership with the League Two club.

Pickering: Woodhead, Hawkes, Batchelor, Patterson, Hackworth, Cook, Dalton, Taylor, Danby Calvert 68), Smith (Tilsley 54), and Greening. Micklethwaite and Myers not used.

Saturday sees Pickering go to Armthorpe Welfare (kick off 3pm).