No knee-jerk reaction as Pickering Town seek backlash

New coach at Pickering Town, Mitch Cook. talking to his team.

New coach at Pickering Town, Mitch Cook. talking to his team.

First published in Sport
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MITCH COOK ruled out a knee-jerk reaction despite admitting embarrassment after his Pickering Town side crashed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

The Pikes were hammered 6-0 at home by Northern League side Washington in their extra preliminary round cup tie on Sunday, following on from a 2-1 loss at Heanor Town in their Northern Counties East League premier division in midweek.

They therefore faced Glasshoughton Welfare in the league last night still seeking their first win of term, ahead of Saturday's tough trip to a buoyant Barnsley outfit Shaw Lane Aquaforce (3pm).

Cook was forced into at least three changes as Joe Danby, Ged Dalton and Tony Hackworth all picked up injuries on Sunday - ankle ligament damage, cartilage trouble and a calf strain respectively - but he was otherwise willing to give his players the chance to make amends in the coming weeks before considering sweeping changes to the squad.

"It was totally embarrassing," said the manager of the cup clash. "We were absolutely dire. We'd had a great effort at Heanor last week. We did really well and only lost to a last-minute goal despite being a man down. We went into Sunday pretty confident but not over-confident but the whole team just didn't perform.

"They hit us on a bad day. It was a real disappointment, an embarrassment."

As for dropping players, he said: "We picked up a couple of injuries but there won't be major changes. We're looking for a reaction.

"We haven't got vast amounts of numbers anyway at our level. We've got 16, 17, 18 players, not a squad of 30. We know what they can do and they know what they can do and we expect them to be better. If it continues we'll have to look to change things but they get the chance to put things right."

Looking ahead to Saturday, Cook added: "When the fixtures came out we knew it would be a tough start - playing the likes of Heanor, Washington, Shaw Lane and Bridlington. Shaw Lane had a great result last week, winning at Tadcaster, and they will be full of confidence and even more confident after seeing our result on Sunday. We have to go there knowing it will be hard and we have to perform."

Sunday's result, on a super Mill Lane playing surface, could have been worse, with Washington missing several chances having been quicker to the ball, more direct and more up for the game. The Pikes, though, also hit the woodwork three times.

Warning bells sounded after nine minutes when Chris Winn raced clear down the right and crossed to skipper Mark Davison, who missed the simplest of chances.

Play quickly switched to the other end where Hackworth passed to Nathan Cook, whose left-foot effort from 16 yards hit a post.

Washington immediately the lead as Niall Tilsley's poor headed back pass to Tom Woodhead allowed Winn to nip in and head the ball over the keeper

The Pikes again hit the woodwork after Robbie Hawkes cut in from the right and shot from 20 yards but a minute later the visitors had a goal disallowed for offside.

More shocking defending allowed Winn to notch his second goal from 20 yards.

Two minutes before half-time, Pikes substitute Dalton saw a 25-yard shot tipped onto a post by Neal Atkinson fand out for a corner.

The Pikes should have scored four minutes into the second half when Dalton set up Danby but he missed a sitter from six yards.

Instead, Winn completed his hat-trick after 54 minutes with a 25-yarder into the top corner, and he got his fourth goal six minutes later.

James Fairley, after 66 minutes, and skipper Davison, after 75, brought further humiliation to the home ranks and sent Washington through to a tie with Lancaster City.

Pickering: Woodhead, Hawkes, Tilsley (Craig 45), Patterson, Aziz, Cook, Ramm, Taylor, Hackworth (Dalton 35), Danby (Salt 53), Belt. Sub not used: Myers. Attendance: 173.

The Pikes took the lead after their long trip to Heanor last Tuesday through Hackworth after six minutes, but he was sent off early in the second half.

Sam Jones equalised with a 59th-minute penalty and an 89th-minute Robbie Hawkes own goal from a corner gave Heanor victory.

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