“I DON’T know how it ended up 0-0.”

So said Pickering Town manager Paul Marshall following his side’s frustrating goalless stalemate against Ramsbottom United in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.

Ramsbottom host the replay tonight (Tuesday). The winner will visit Evo-Stik League premier outfit Workington in the first round proper.

On Saturday, Pickering return to east division action when they visit 12th-placed Stamford.

At Mill Lane at the weekend, the Pikes had two goals contentiously ruled out and a “blatant” penalty appeal turned down, while the Rams also had chances.

Skipper Nick Thompson had the ball in the net in the 50th minute, curling in over a stranded keeper from outside the area, but the referee pulled play back for the shot-stopper’s foul on Josh Greening.

Greening, meanwhile, had a goal disallowed for offside after netting from close range, latching on to Ryan Blott’s superb ball into the area.

Shortly afterwards, Blott went to ground in the penalty area under pressure from two Ramsbottom defenders, with the striker appearing to be tripped.

But Marshall does not want to place the blame squarely on the officials.

He said: “I’m a bit frustrated. We created better chances than Ramsbottom created. We just didn’t take them, so it was a missed opportunity.

“We played very well.

“The referee played great advantages most of the game then the time we needed it, he blew straight away – he didn’t give long before Nick Thompson lobbed the keeper.

“He gave the free kick, which came to nothing. I’m a bit disappointed. There was also a blatant foul on Ryan Blott.

“But we missed chances ourselves, we can’t just have a go at the referee.

“We had some great opportunities to score, and they had a few themselves. I don’t know how it ended up 0-0, really.”

Tonight’s replay will be the third the Pikes have contested in four rounds of the FA Trophy, but Marshall is not concerned about the long-term effects of the run on the squad.

“It’s no problem for us at all,” he said. “And playing is better than training. Just enjoy the ride, and long may it continue.”

On the Pikes’ potential trip to Workington, Marshall said: “I’m not even considering it to be honest. It’s the least of my worries at this moment in time.”

Ramsbottom’s Tom Kennedy saw a curling corner tipped over by keeper Charlie Andrew seven minutes in before the young shot-stopper collected a Nialle Rodney effort following good team play.

Pickering had their first real chance of the evening 16 minutes in with Blott just misjudging a Lewis Taylor ball and heading over.

Blott was again in the action in the 25th minute, side-footing a volley against the left-hand post from a tight angle.

Just after the half-hour, Taylor volleyed wide after taking a Thompson nod-down on his chest before Bissett was taken off with a groin strain.

After break, Nico Evangelinos saw a good shot saved by Andrew to keep the teams on level terms before Billy Logan headed against the right-hand upright.

Ged Dalton did well to work his way into the Ramsbottom box before curling a shot from the outside of his boot into the side netting while Jamie Barkway headed over from close range.

Of the two games against Ramsbottom, Marshall said: “I don’t think they were expecting us to be as good as we were (on Saturday), and I think they will have more to offer at home like last Tuesday against Yaxley when they won 5-1.

“We’re just missing George Bissett, so we’re not as depleted as Yaxley were. I think it will be a close game and another flip of the coin.”

Adam Lund came in for the injured Bissett at right back. Lund was absent from Saturday’s game with a hamstring problem, but is fit again after being rested. Bissett will also miss the trip to Stamford.