PICKERING Town manager Denny Ingram is sure that a congested run-in will not hinder his side as they chase Evo-Stik League survival.

Ingram has also expressed disappointment after the Pikes were held to a 1-1 draw at Mill Lane by strugglers Spalding United at the weekend, when three points might have been deserved - and definitely desirable.

Pickering's game at Pontefract Collieries last night (Tuesday) kickstarted a run of six games in 18 days during which the Pikes face four of the current top six - and from which they need nine points to be mathematically certain of safety in the Evo-Stik east division.

The match against the second-placed Colls - the rearranged fixture following last month's abandonment due to floodlight failure - is followed by the visit of fourth-placed Brighouse Town on Saturday.

The games are coming thick and fast, with the Pikes averaging one every three days - but boss Ingram is not concerned.

He said: "I think at this time of the season, all the training we put in is done and dusted. It's no issue playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.

"Any footballer will tell you they would prefer to play than train.

"Brighouse are near the top end of the table for no reason other than that they are a decent side.

"But I feel that when we have come up against the better sides in the league, we have done ourselves more justice than against the bottom sides - we go in feeling like we can compete against every single team."

On Saturday, it took a 94th-minute Ryan Blott free kick to earn a point for Town after Leon Mettam had opened the scoring for Spalding with a smartly-taken first-time shot which curled across keeper Harrison Foulkes from an acute angle.

Danny Earl and Josh Greening both had good opportunities for Pickering, while the usually dependable Blott struck keeper Michael Duggan's right-hand upright with a penalty kick.

He made amends, though, midway through the nine minutes of added time as he curled the 20-yard set-piece tightly around the wall and inside Duggan's left-hand post.

"We were left a little bit frustrated," Ingram said. "We were comfortable within the game and, realistically, they only had two chances the whole game. All credit to their centre-forward, it was a great finish.

"The lads reacted well and got back into the game with the free kick.

"We were well in control of the game, we kept our position well and they never caused us any problems. Harrison made one save in the first half. We had a few chances where we just needed composure in front of goal and a little bit more desire to get on the end of things.

"We didn't give up and the players gave everything for the full 90 minutes. To be truthful, I haven't seen a team playing for time as much as Spalding did on Saturday.

"It could have frustrated the life out of the boys but, all credit to them, they kept plugging away and got a result in the end.

"We kept the gap between us and Spalding. We're frustrated we haven't picked up three points, which would have put us in a much stronger position."

Out of the seven games Ingram has taken charge of, Blott's was the third goal Pickering have scored in the 90th minute or later, and the second of those late finishes to rescue a result for the Pikes.

On the team spirit, Ingram added: "I think everybody who's ever played against us or been in the dressing room will say what comes out most is that we stick together as a unit. We win, lose and draw together.

"I believe you get out what you put in and it's no good me turning up expecting everybody to put in everything if I'm going in half-hearted.

"Since I took over, I think we've managed to come out with some positive in every game, whether that's in the performance or the result, and that will continue.

"If the boys buy into it, they'll be a part of it, and if not, maybe it's not the club for them and they're not the players for me."

Teenage keeper Foulkes, meanwhile, has been named in the ESL east division's official Team of the Season.

The 18-year-old followed in the footsteps of Hull City Academy compatriot Charlie Andrew in going to Mill Lane to gain experience. Andrew joined National League North outfit Bradford Park Avenue on loan after making 63 appearances for Pickering.

Ingram said: "I believe a lot of Harrison's plaudits have been recognised because of Charlie Andrew who most definitely played his part at the start of the season.

"He (Foulkes) has done absolutely fantastically since he came in in January. All credit to him."