This season, we want to help Ryedale's biggest football club make history by winning promotion to the UniBond League, which it has never played in, but is well within its sights.

Currently in the premier division of the Northern Counties East League, the Pikes need to make £20,000 of improvements to their ground for promotion to be possible.

Under Football Association rules, the ground needs new male and female toilets and a removable fence at one side of the pitch if it is to meet the standards for the next level of play.

Last season, under new manager Mark Wood, the Pikes showed great promise, and now the team is looking for support from fans old and new, to go to matches and take part in a wide range of fundraising drives.

Pikes supporters kick-started the campaign on Sunday when they raised more than £700 on their annual sponsored walk.

Pikes chairman Tony Dunning told the Gazette & Herald: "I think we've got to go for it. We've got to progress in the right way and we need the support of everybody to get where we want to be.

"We're happy with the team we've got and we've got a much stronger management team to run the operation, which is important and an improvment from last year, because you need people in the background helping to run the club."

He added: "The pitch is in very good condition, it's a good surface to play on which is always good when you want to play passing football.

"I would urge everybody to get behind the team. We are still looking for new people on the managment side who can bring something to the club and take things on. We have a lovely club in a lovely situation in the town, there's a good atmosphere after matches and there's a lot to build on.

"I think the Gazette & Herald's campaign is excellent, we need all the publicity we can get and you can't get much better than this."

As the season starts, the Pikes have lauched a £100 ticket scheme which will see one lucky ticket-holder win £5,000. It is a great way for businesses or individuals to support their local club be in with the chance of a windfall, or for syndicates to club together.

Once home games start in a few weeks, there will also be a chance to sponsor a player, and perhaps a sportsman's dinner, as well as the club's well-established weekly draw and of course, the revenue and support from fans attending matches.

Winterton Ranges 0, Pickering Town 0

The Pikes opened their league account on Saturday at Winterton Rangers and returned with a point from a goalless draw.

The home side had more of the play, but the Pikes had the best two chances of the game.

Winterton started well. After six minutes Andy Catton's right-wing free-kick was only partially cleared by the Pikes defence to Steve Underwood for the former Bridlington Town and Halifax player to shoot from 20 yards over the Pikes crossbar. After 15 minutes a superb free-flowing move by the home side went over the crossbar.

The Pikes first chance of the game came after 17 minutes when skipper Joe Conner had a 20yard left-foot free kick over the crossbar.

Within a minute the home side's Whitehouse shot from 30 yards but the ball was deflected by Andy Holt for the Pikes keeper Carl Silburn to save. A minute later Whitehouse set up Phil Jackson whose shot was saved by Silburn.

The next five minutes saw Winterton go close with three good efforts by Danny Clarke, Holt - well saved by Silburn, and Catton - over the crossbar.

After 28 minutes the Pikes had their best chance of the half when a Seb Towse free kick from the left-wing was flicked on by David James to Steve Baxter who turned and shot from 15 yards over the crossbar.

Five minutes later Adam Wright set up James for the Pikes but his 16-yard shot went wide of the home goal.

The save of the game came after 35 minutes when James combined with Ricky Greening to set up Richard Whitfield, whose perfect shot produced the save of the game from Winterton's keeper Ben Simpson.

Towse followed up with a left-foot eightyard shot which hit the post. A minute later, play switched to the other end for Jackson and Rob Northern to go close and on the stroke of half-time Silburn saved from Clarke's long-range effort.

Thirty seconds into the second half and the Pikes almost snatched the lead when Baxter set up Whitfield but Simpson saved well. Four minutes later Whitehouse raced clear down the home left-wing, he crossed the ball which went across the Pikes goal with no Winterton player on hand to take advantage. A minute later Clarke shot wide from 18 yards.

Winterton's Northern raced clear after 65 minutes to beat the Pikes offside trap but his 15-yard left foot angled shot went wide. Five minutes later Connor headed the ball off the Pikes goal-line to prevent Whitehouse scoring, and after 71 minutes Winterton had strong penalty appeals turned down when Northern appeared to be tripped by a Pikes defender. Northern was cautioned for showing dissent with his strong outburst.

Winterton had a good build up after 75 minutes only for David Ricardo's effort to go over the crossbar. Five minutes later the same player almost scored but Lee Pallender cleared the danger when he headed the ball clear of his own goal line.

In the last three minutes the Pikes went close twice with Michael McNaughton and James both going close, but overall the draw was a fair result between two very good sides.

Man of the match for the Pikes was Lee Pallender who never put a foot wrong all afternoon with David James impressing in midfield.

Winterton Rangers' ground and facilities were so different from the last time the teams clashed in September 2000, two brand new cantilever stands, the whole ground and playing surface will be very hard to beat in the league this season.

In fact Hull City Under-19s play all their home games at Winterton. Hull City sent a full strength side to play Winterton recently and attracted a crowd of 1,200.

The Pikes are away on Saturday to Washington in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup, kick-off 3pm. The Pikes will be taking a coach. For details conact Tony Dunning on 01751 472627 (work) or 473697 (home).

If the game is a draw the replay will be next Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

Tony Dunning added that there was a big cash incentive to win this weekend. "It will not be an easy game but we need to have a good cup run to boost funds, " he said.

Washington, newly promoted to the Northern League first division, lost 2-1 at home to the previous season's league champions Whitley Bay on Saturday.

The Pikes squad at Winterton was:

Silburn, Wright (McNaughton 51), Brunton, Eeles, Pallender, Connor - captain, Baxter, James, Whitfield, Greening, Towse (Stewart 45). James Bell not used.