PICKERING TOWN are two matches away from a mouth-watering FA cup clash against Unibond Premier League side Accrington Stanley. If the Pikes can overcome Shotton Colliery (away, on September 1) and then the winners of Parkgate and Kirk Town (away, on September 15), then they can expect a bumper home tie against the well-supported Accrington on September 29.

Manager Jimmy Reid said it would be a massive game for the club. He said: "They get about 700 at their home games so we could expect a crowd of up to 300. We played Guiseley who were another Unibond Premier League team two years ago and though we got beat 6-0, that was two years ago and we've come on since then. However, we're not looking that far ahead just yet."

For the moment, Reid is more concerned with getting off to a good start in the league, which kicks off a week on Saturday. His team travel to Borrowash Victoria, who were promoted to the Unibond Premier League along with the Pikes last season. It is the first in a succession of away games.

On August 25, Town travel to Glasshoughton and after the FA cup tie against Shotton Colliery, they face Pointon Victoria away on September 8 in the FA Vase competition. If they are successful in that game, they face either Selby or Eshington.

The Pikes received a double boost ahead of their friendly game against a Scarborough XI tomorrow night (7.30pm). Midfielder Patrick Gaughan is expected to make his comeback after a long-term cartilage injury. And ex-York City player Andy McMillan has agreed to sign for the club. Even though he will only be an occasional player due to family and work commitments, Reid is delighted at his acquisition.

He said: "After 500 league games in England and Scotland, he has come to us and he likes the club and that is a real complement to us. It shows we are going down the right road."

Pickering continued their pre-season schedule with a 4-0 win at Hutton Cranswick last Thursday, with goals from Wash, Reid, Morton and Farthing. Another friendly against Harrogate Town has been arranged for next Tuesday at 7.45pm.

Updated: 13:34 Thursday, August 09, 2001