Pickering Town 3, Armthorpe Welfare 2; The Pikes had a great home win on Saturday - their ninth league victory in a row - against Armthorpe Welfare who have gathered a very useful side this season. They are currently sixth in the league table and the Pikes are third.

The Pikes were without Danny Brunton and Michael McNaughton, both injured from Tuesday night. James Drinkall was working but they welcomed back Mark Swales from his Australian holiday.

They started in perfect style, taking a second minute lead. Richard Whitfield scored with a left-foot 15-yard shot after a neat one-two move with Chris Batchelor. Four minutes later Armthorpe were level when skipper Nathan Illey, after a good right-wing build-up, scored with a 10-yard acute angled shot.

After 11 minutes the Pikes moved well.

Chris Batchelor had a 30-yard left-foot shot blocked, the ball rebounded to Steve Baxter who laid the ball to Ricky Greening whose 16-yard shot went over the crossbar. A minute later Armthorpe's David Buck set up their dangerman Henry Sibenge whose shot was headed clear by Wayne Aziz to Liam Muirhead whose effort went wide.

The Pikes regained the lead after 27 minutes when Chris Batchelor scored with an unstoppable 25-yard left-foot shot after a well worked free kick taken by skipper Joe Connor.

Four minutes later after 31 minutes the Pikes took a 3-1 lead when a Joe Connor left-foot right-wing corner found Wayne Aziz who outjumped the visitors defence.

The ball appeared to go over the goal line but Richard Whitfield made sure from close range with Greening and Danny Gildea also on hand.

A minute later a superb move was started by Baxter in his own half to Greening whose right wing cross found Whitfield and Batchelor whose 12yard shot went wide, but what a great attacking move.

The game erupted after 35 minutes when Armthorpe's Kirk Wheeler, a former Ossett Town player, head-butted Ricky Greening and was sent off. Greening came off injured and was later given a clean bill of health at Scarborough Hospital.

Two minutes before half time, Armthorpe pulled a goal back with a fine individual effort by the impressive Henry Sibenge.

The second half was end-to-end. After 51 minutes Sibenge linked up well with Stuart Preston with Sibenge's final effort hitting the Pikes crossbar. A minute later Armthorpe's other star man Paul Ashton had a good chance turned away for a corner.

Pikes substitute Mark Swales was clean through on goal after 53 minutes but Pettinger came out and gathered the ball well. Two minutes later Sibenge crossed from the left-wing for Craig Morley to head the ball over for the visitors. After 56 minutes Armthorpe had a great chance to draw level but were prevented by a brilliant tackle by Aziz on Sibenge.

There were no more goals but the game continued to flow from end-to-end. The Pikes had Joe Connor, George Rose and Rob Eeles all cautioned by the referee in the last 15 minutes.

After 84 minutes the Pikes were reduced to 10 men when Batchelor was sent off for kicking an opponent after Muirhead had fouled him, for which the referee cautioned Muirhead. Batchelor then lashed out and kicked Muirhead in front of the referee.

After the game manager Mark Wood told the Gazette & Herald: "I am relieved to get the win with the side showing changes and not playing at their best. But they played together as a team to get the result and maintain our chase of league honours.

"Overall I thought we just about deserved their victory against a very good Armthorpe side."

He praised the skill of Armthorpe's two dangermen Ashton and Sibenge.

Wood also confirmed that midfield player Matty Biggins has gone to Australia for a year.

The Pikes will be without Liam Salt on Saturday as he has to serve a seven day suspension picked up whilst playing for Trafalgar on Saturday.

The Pikes line up was: Martin, Rose, MacAuley, Eeles, Aziz, Connor, Baxter (Roberts 67), Gildea, Whitfield (Salt 71), Greening (M Swales 40) and Batchelor. Man of the match for the Pikes was Wayne Aziz.

Starting next Saturday, the Pikes have three massive games in eight days, all away from home. On Saturday, December 1, the Pikes are away to league leaders Glapwell, kick off 3pm. The coach leaves Pickering at 11.15am. Next Tuesday the Pikes will visit York City in the North Riding CFA Senior Cup quarter final, kick off 7.30pm, the coach leaves Pickering at 5pm. This game is followed on December 8 with an away game at second placed Winterton Rangers, kick off 3pm, in the third round of the FA Vase. These games could well prove to be the biggest three of the season.

The other Pikes fixtures for December are: December 15 Eccleshill Utd away, December 22 Glasshoughton Welfare at home, December 26 Selby Town at home and December 29 Glasshoughton Welfare away.

The Pikes are currently third with 33 points from 15 games played so far, leaders are Glapwell - Saturday's opponents - who have 34 points from 12 games played and Winterton Rangers are second with 34 points from 14 games played.

Pickering Town 3, Eccleshill Utd 2; The Pikes reached the third round of the FA Vase last Tuesday and will collect £1,000 prize money for their efforts.

The Pikes took the lead after 11 minutes.

They were awarded a fortunate penalty after nine minutes when Ricky Greening went down under a challenge by an Eccleshill defender. Michael McNaughton took the penalty kick which was well saved by Eccleshill keeper Carl Zoborowski.

However, the linesman waved for a retake as the keeper had moved off his goal line prior to it being taken. It was a huge slice of good fortune for the Pikes and this time Ricky Greening stepped forward and scored.

Eccleshill came back strongly and were awarded a penalty after 22 minutes after a foul by Wayne Aziz. Skipper Chris Rosindale scored.

Eccleshill took the lead after 43 minutes when a deep cross from the left by Flanagan found Paul Baker, who slotted the ball home amid poor defending by the Pikes.

Eccleshill started the second half well and after 62 minutes Martin saved two good efforts within a minute by Baker and Flanagan.

The Pikes equalised after 66 minutes when a Danny Gildea free kick from the halfway line was nodded on by Rob Eeles to Rickey Greening, who scored with a well-placed close range shot.

The game was now end to end with both sides needing a winner. The Pikes brought on Liam Salt and were playing much better, although Eccleshill looked dangerous on the break.

In the second minute of stoppage time Chris Batchelor crossed from the left for Ricky Greening to head the winner and put his team into the third round and complete his second hat-trick of the season in front of a crowd of 106.