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Mick Cook sets Pickering Town new target
Updated 4:02pm Wednesday 16th April 2014 in Sport
MITCH COOK has set his Pickering Town team an 80-point target after two wins in a week pushed them up to sixth in the Northern Counties East League premier division table.
The Recreation Ground boss is in buoyant mood after his men followed up a 1-0 midweek victory over Bridlington Town with a 3-0 win in their final home match of the campaign against Heanor Town last Saturday.
The visitors boasted the league's top scorer, 55-goal Kieran Debrouwer, but it was Tony Hackworth, Robbie Hawkes and Lewis Taylor who netted as Pickering notched their fourth victory on the spin.
Hawkes' goal, four minutes into the second half, an unstopabble shot from 30 yards, brought the midfielder double delight. Before the game, he was named as the supporters' player of the year.
Cook has been thrilled with the way his team have roused themselves following a thumping by Tadcaster Albion last month and, celebrating the win over Brid - his former club - and the three-point Heanor haul - he now wants to finish the season as strongly as possible.
"The lads have responded well," Cook said. "We've won four on the trot. Bridlington are always a good side, while Heanor have a marksman who has scored 55 this season. We haven't really looked like conceding.
"Heanor got a penalty, of course, but our keeper made a great save. We kept Heanor really quiet. We've scored something like 120 goals this season. That has never been a problem. We've conceded 70-odd.
"Goalkeeper Tom Woodhead has come in and has done really well. He organises well and talks well and that's particularly important when you have got young players.
"We had 17 or 18-year-olds all in the back four and against Heanor we were up against the land of giants. They had a way of playing and we coped really well. We've all got to have targets.
"We have 75 points now and we have got two more games to go and both are winnable. We have to travel and that is always a difficult proposition but we can look towards 81 points and it is about whether we can get there.
"We've got more than last season and there has been good progression. We want that to continue."
Heanor rarely caused the Pikes any trouble. Hawkes could have opened the scoring after six minutes when he hit a 25-yard effort just wide after being three players during a mazy run. Josh Greening and Ged Dalton, who was foiled by a timely tackle from Lee Stevenson, both had chances to open the scoring before the inevitable goal arrived on the half hour.
Sam Calvert was clean through on goal when he was clipped and assistant referee Kevin Beckett signalled for the spot kick. Tony Hackworth netted.
The Pikes took a firm grip on the game in the second period and Hawkes' thumping drive, four minutes in, extended their lead as the ball dropped over keeper Mark Frost and into the goal.
Hawkes brought down Nathan Benger on the hour mark but Woodhead dived to his left to keep out the resulting penalty from Debrouwer.
An almost identical goal to Hawkes' effort, this time from Taylor from 22-yards, on 65 minutes completed the scoring.
Pickering: Woodhead, Hawkes, Andrew, Patterson (Fenwick 89), Hackworth (Henderson 86), Cook, Calvert, Taylor, Calvert, Dalton (Micklethwaite 83), Tilsley and Greening. Danby and Myers not used.
Jamie Patterson got the only goal, after 20 minutes, when the Pikes won 1-0 at Bridlington. Top scorer Joe Danby pulled a hamstring in that match and missed the Heanor win but Cook is hoping he will be fit for Saturday's trip to Thackley (kick off 3pm).
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