PICKERING Town manager Denny Ingram has praised his side's character after they came from behind to claim a valuable three points at Gresley FC.

Ryan Blott won and scored a 12th-minute penalty to cancel out Kane Lee's early opener and Danny Earl completed the turnaround before the break with his first goal for the club.

The 2-1 win - Pickering's first victory since New Year's Day - lifts the Pikes back out of the Evo-Stik League east division relegation zone and into 16th place, two points clear. Gresley, meanwhile, are now four points adrift of safety.

It is a timely boost for Pickering and new boss Ingram, for whom it was a first win in charge, ahead of Saturday's visit to runaway leaders Morpeth Town.

Ingram said: "I'm over the moon. The boys were fantastic and showed a lot of character, a lot of commitment, and it could have been more comfortable.

"We had some great chances in the second half to kill them off.

"We put some balls into good areas in the first half, and with more desire we could have come in at half-time really comfortable.

"But all in all, it was a must-win game and the lads went out and got the job done.

"Their right-winger was a threat with his pace and Matty Jacob had a difficult time in the first half.

"Harrison (Foulkes, goalkeeper) could have potentially done better (for Gresley's goal) - the ball just crawled underneath him. But the response from the pair of them - they were big, brave, strong and bounced back really well from the setback.

"We showed great character, got the penalty and got back in the game, then there was that bit of quality from Danny - his injection of pace and a great finish.

"Lewis Taylor put some great deliveries in and with more desire to get the ball in the net, and maybe put another player in the back of the net too, we would have gone in at half-time very comfortable.

"The second half they came out and put pressure on us but our defenders did the job and put their bodies on the line.

"We had chances which we could have got goals from, which sums up our luck at this moment in time, but that will come.

"We've come out of this game with great confidence, had a great night as a club at the sportsman's dinner afterwards, and we'll prepare for a very difficult game away at Morpeth."

For the third game in a row, there was a new face in the Pikes' starting line-up.

Ingram's most recent acquisition, Catterick Garrison-based paratrooper Stuart Mott, has signed from Morpeth and impressed on his debut, earning the man-of-the-match award.

Ingram said: "He was outstanding, a real breath of fresh air in front of the back four. He did a very good screening job.

"All in all, he looks a real snip of a signing."

On fellow newcomer Earl opening his Pikes account, Ingram added: "It's another massive positive for us.

"He played up top and was asked to be busy and a threat. He's still a little bit raw but that will come with time and listening to Blotty (Ryan Blott).

"It's a massive plus-point and hopefully he can get us some more goals by the end of the season.

"I've got a good squad of around 20 now. There's competition for places and we're stronger than two or three weeks ago.

"The boys have seen we can go out and sign players so we're getting 10 to 15 per cent out of the lads already here because they're looking over their shoulders.

"I'm constantly on the lookout and if a player fits my expectations, I'm all for it. I'll make signings and changes.

"Ultimately, all that matters is the team winning and that's what we need to do from now until the end of the season."

Keeper Foulkes made his debut for Pickering in the reverse fixture against Morpeth at Mill Lane five week ago.

A first-half Blott goal and a backs-to-the-wall second-half defensive display earned the Pikes a 1-1 draw that day against the Highwaymen.

Of the challenge that awaits on Saturday, Ingram said: "It's about us, not the opposition. We get our house in order and do what's expected of us. On our day, we're more than a match for anyone and if we get a bit of luck in front of goal, who knows?

"It's no different to other games of football. We go out with a game plan and the boys stick to it. It's 11 v 11 and if we turn up and do our job, that's all I can ask."