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Pickering Town boss keeping faith to crack FA Vase rivals
JIMMY REID will resist the temptation to tinker with his Pickering Town side as they entertain Durham City in a vital FA Vase first round clash tomorrow.
The Pikes boss was so delighted with the come-from-behind victory over Scarborough Athletic last weekend, where a 2-0 deficit after 15 minutes was turned into a 3-2 win, that he will stick with the same starting XI.
With Pocklington’s John Heads and North Ferriby’s Tim Clarke now bedded into the squad; new signings Dale Holding and Gary Hepples pushing for starting berths and the likes of Eddie Cass and Scarborough Town’s Jamie Patterson still to come, the Recreation Ground-based boss is optimistic his team will soon surge up the Northern Counties East League premier division.
But first is the matter of Durham City and a £900 prize for the victors.
“It’s about 300 raffles,” Reid said of the cash on offer. “We are really looking forward to the game. Tom Fenwick is back after getting married and he’ll be on the bench. We are not even looking at changing anything.
“The 11 that started on Saturday will start. There is a great feeling about the club after the last six or seven weeks and, hopefully, we can kick on.”
Of their Northern League first division opponents, now under the temporary charge of James Winter and Dan Madden after former Sunderland and ex-York City loanee defender Richard Ord resigned, Reid was wary. “They played West Auckland last week and drew 3-3 and their opponents got to the Vase final last season,” he added.
Pickering’s vanquished derby opponents, Scarborough Athletic, are also in FA Vase action at Thackley.
Tadcaster Albion boss Paul Marshall is thrilled to have selection dilemmas ahead of the Brewers’ hosting of Arnold Town at Ings Lane in the NCEL top flight.
Tad posted five league games without defeat when Ryan Williams’ first-half goal saw off Armthorpe Welfare in midweek and Marshall believes his squad of 18 players is “very strong” and could challenge for honours.
He said: “I had five lads on the bench on Wednesday night including Chris Kamara, Stuart Rice and Josh Barrett and I thought ‘I’ve got a good squad’.
“This squad of 18 are all very good. It’s great quality to have.
“We had a lot of chances (against Armthorpe) and we need to start taking a few more. But if we can defend like we have been we always give ourselves a chance of winning games.”
Marshall’s men are ninth but have as many as five games in hand on some of their rivals and the Albion boss believes the next month could be a big one.
“We will be playing on Saturday and Tuesday every week,” he added. “It gives us a great opportunity to pick up a lot of points and catch the likes of Bridlington and Scarborough.”
Selby Town club secretary Tommy Arkley reckons the Robins might finally be getting to grips with life in NCEL division one. The Flaxley Road-based side lost 4-2 at Dinnington Town last week but twice took the lead before familiar defensive frailties flared.
Selby entertain Eccleshill United tomorrow and Arkley said: “The signs are there that the performances are improving but it’s all about keeping confident and focusing on protecting leads.”
Harrogate Town, who will travel to Hyde for the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, must put thoughts of cup glory aside as they host Brackley Town in Blue Square Bet North.
Harrogate Railway go to Skelmersdale in Evo-Stik League division one north.