PICKERING Town chairman Wayne Taylor has praised the Pikes following their fruitful first-ever outing in the FA Trophy.

The Pikes suffered late heartbreak in the third qualifying round replay at Ramsbottom United, who won 2-1 with a last-minute goal.

But Pickering can be justifiably proud of their debut Trophy campaign, which produced three wins, three draws and one defeat. As manager Paul Marshall pointed out previously, some teams have not yet won one game in several attempts.

What is more, the Pikes estimate the cup run will have netted them somewhere in the region of £7,000 and £8,000 - quite the boon for a club looking to compete at the Step 4 level for the first time in its history.

In the Evo-Stik League, meanwhile, the Pikes remain 13th following a 0-0 draw with mid-table rivals Stamford on Saturday. Pickering have no fixture until December 15 when they travel to fellow promoted side Pontefract Collieries.

With their new Step 4 league having ground-grading requirements, it is likely an amount of the prize money will be apportioned to making sure the club's Mill Lane home is up to scratch for the newly-promoted Pikes.

Taylor said: "We don't get all the money straight away, it takes time to come through. But we're self-sufficient at Pickering and every bit we get in these cup runs helps.

"We did very well. The lads did well stepping up to that stage in the FA Trophy. We thought the competition would be tough, and it was tough, but we did better than expected.

"I was disappointed (to go out) because we put up such a good fight in the first leg. That game I saw, we deserved to win, but Ramsbottom played very well in the replay and edged it to be honest."

Last Tuesday night, Ramsbottom secured their passage to the FA Trophy first round proper as Kyle Jacobs fired past Pikes keeper Charlie Andrew with just one minute of the 90 remaining.

The Evo-Stik League west division high-fliers go on to face the premier division outfit Workington.

Ramsbottom took the game back to their Harry Williams Riverside Stadium in Greater Manchester following Saturday's goalless draw at Mill Lane on Saturday - during which Pickering had two goals contentiously disallowed.

The midweek hosts opened the scoring on the break in the 15th minute through winger Nic Evangelinos, who slotted in from Eddie Moran's ball over the top for his seventh goal of the season.

Ryan Blott got the visitors back into the game from the spot just after half-time, confidently dispatching high and to keeper Sam Ashton's right after Ged Dalton had been brought down.

But Moran picked up his second assist of the evening as he teed up Jacobs to shoot from the edge of the area for the last-gasp winner, and the former FC United of Manchester man's first goal of term.

Pickering had to show character and determination to get to the third qualifying round - indeed, Tuesday's game was the third replay they faced in four rounds of the competition.

The Pikes eased through the first round against a strong Stocksbridge Park Steels outfit, winning 3-0, before coming up against a Droylsden outfit who had knocked out Marshall's former charges Tadcaster Albion - one team who are yet to win a Trophy fixture - in the previous round.

And the Bloods looked to be heading for the second qualifying round, leading 2-1 through a Sefton Gonzales double, before Billy Logan popped up in the 90th minute to equalise and force a replay, which Pickering won 3-2.

Against AFC Mansfield, Pickering twice came from behind to take the second qualifying round tie back to Mill Lane, where Josh Greening and Logan goals bookended a 2-0 victory to send the Pikes through to the the third qualifying round.