FA Vase, Brandon Utd 0, Pickering Town 5; The Pikes reached the first round proper with an impressive all-round professional performance against Brandon United who play in the second division of the Northern League.

On October 6 they will visit another Northern League side, first division Tow Law Town who will be a difficult side to beat.

On Saturday the Pikes started a little uneasy, so different from all their other games so far this season. After six minutes Chris Batchelor had a right-wing, left-foot free kick cleared when Adam Laidlaw headed the ball clear.

Six minutes later Ricky Greening crossed from the right for Wayne Aziz to head just wide for the Pikes. A minute later Lee Pallender playing at left back crossed for Mark Swales to have a good shot but his effort was blocked by Craig Snowden.

The Pikes had a major slice of luck after 17 minutes when Brandon's Ian Prichard strode into the Pikes' penalty area. He appeared to be tripped by Rob Eeles.

The referee Richard Clark (Morpeth), waved play on and eventually gave Brandon a corner which was taken by Chris English and cleared by Aziz. Three minutes later Daniel McDonough had a good left-foot shot deflected for a corner by Michael McNaughton.

The Pikes then took charge of the game.

After 27 minutes Chris Batchelor set up Mark Swales who dribbled his way into the penalty area beating four men. He laid the ball to Ricky Greening who scored with a well-struck 12-yard right-foot shot for the opening goal of the game.

Richard Whitfield, Batchelor, McNaughton, Swales and Aziz all went close to increasing the Pikes' lead but a minute before half-time Batchelor's left-wing corner found Aziz whose powerful header found Richard Whitfield who scored from closerange with a simple tap-in.

The second half continued in a similar manner. Danny Gildea went close for the Pikes after 49 minutes. Aziz, Greening and Swales all had efforts saved by Liam Lowe the home keeper, but after 60 minutes Lee Pallender scored a fine individual solo goal when he nipped down the left-wing, cut in, beat two men and unleashed an unstoppable 18-yard right foot shot into the roof of the net.

The Pikes increased their lead to 4-0 after 74 minutes. There was a brilliant piece of skill down the right-wing by Mark Swales, whose cross hit the crossbar. With Lowe beaten the ball fell to substitute Steve Baxter who scored with a close-range tap-in.

In the last minute Brandon's Laidlaw became the first and only player to be booked in the game when he pulled Greening down just outside the penalty area. Greening recovered and superbly hit the 22-yard rightfoot free-kick into the goal for the Pikes' fifth and final goal.

Man of the match for the Pikes was Wayne Aziz with impressive displays by Davy Gildea, Ricky Greening and Chris Batchelor.

The crowd was just 34.

The Pikes are at home in a league game on Saturday to Maltby Main, kick off 3pm.

Season tickets are on sale from chairman Tony Duning at a cost of £65 or £40 concessions. Children are admitted free to all league games if accompanied by a paying parent or guardian.

Pikes manager Mark Wood was very pleased with his side's performance on Saturday after the opening 20 minutes.

"Once we settled down we played some lovely football, " he said. "In the second half it was a pleasure to watch, we were never in any danger. Our third goal on the hour mark killed them off and we fully deserved our win and a trip to Tow Law Town which will be a lot tougher but winnable."

Phil O'Reilly has been transferred to Tadcaster Albion. Matty Biggins was absent on Saturday owing to illness and Joe Connor, who was suspended, will be back in contention for next Saturday's game.

Ricky Greening, however, is suspended (for one game) and Liam Salt is also suspended (his third game of three). Steve Baxter is fit again, Dean MacAuley isn't far away, but Matthew Morton is awaiting hospital treatment on his knee.

Fixtures for October for the Pikes are as follows:

October 2 Long Eaton away; October 6 FA Vase away to Tow Law Town; October 13 Hallam home; October 20 South Normanton Athletic home; October 27 Selby Town away.

The Pikes team on Saturday was as follows:

Martin, Gildea, Pallender, Eeles, McNaughton (Barber 63), Rose, Greening, Aziz, Whitfield (Baxter 62), Swales (Harrison 78), and Batchelor. James and Wood not used.