PICKERING Town manager Tony Hackworth believes that his side were deserved of their victory against play-off chasing Handsworth on Saturday after battling back in the second half.

Blake Drury saw his opener cancelled out by both Leon Howarth and Brandon Bagley as the opening 45 minutes wore to a close, but an Omar Sanyang double inspired the Pikes' comeback as they ran out comfortable 4-2 winners.

Matty Dawes also netted for the Pikes in the second half on what was his 50th appearance for the Ryedale outfit.

A third win in four moves Pickering up to 16th in the NCEL premier division table, however, they have played as many as five more games than the teams around them. Handsworth remain eighth.

“The togetherness in the dressing room is one of the main positives," Hackworth enthused to the club.

"They’re a great group who work hard for each other and in training, and they deserve those two results over the last few weeks.

“Unluckily we found ourselves 2-1 down at half time, we spoke about that and how positive we needed to be in the second half, and they came out and absolutely dominated, so fair play to them."

Hackworth was forced to shuffle his pack for the fixture, with Connor Avison unavailable and captain Wayne Brooksby suspended, however Drury and Liam Love both passed late fitness tests to start.

The visitors began brightly, the first chance falling the way of Mason Barlow, who was denied by a smart stop from Toby Wells seven minutes into the contest.

But it was the Pikes who broke the deadlock midway through the opening half, Drury powering a header past Addison Bliss and into the back of the net after being left unmarked inside the box.

A sin-bin for Handsworth’s Craig Nelthorpe followed, but Pickering were unable to capitalize on their man advantage, his re-introduction instead bringing an equaliser as Howarth nodded home Mitch Dunne’s cross five minutes before the break.

The Pikes though found themselves behind at the interval, Bagley the grateful recipient of some lacklustre defending to head home from a corner and give his side the lead in the second minute of stoppage time.

Chasing the game, Hackworth’s charges were slow out of the blocks following the restart and were lucky not to find themselves further behind after Bagley and Shaun Tuton saw efforts fly narrowly high and wide.

But a sweet strike from Dawes midway through the half proved to be the turning point for the Pikes, who went on to score a further twice in the 15 minutes that followed to turn the game on its head.

Sanyang fired his side back in front with a stunning 25-yard thunderbolt on the 70-minute mark before dispatching a perhaps contentious penalty with four minutes to play to seal a crucial three points.

“He’s got that in abundance, he’s quality with his left and right foot and is just a pleasure to have here,” Hackworth said of Sanyang’s match-winning influence.

“I’m so lucky to have him.

“He’s a lovely kid, works hard and he’s just everything that I’m after in a footballer and he deserves those two goals.”

The Pikes are next in action tomorrow evening (7.45pm) when they host Fishburn Park in the Second Round of the North Riding Senior County Cup, a competition Hackworth hopes to impress in.

“There’s a few missing through suspension and stuff, so we’ll have a look at the squad," he admitted.

“No doubt we’ll rotate a little bit, but it’s definitely a game that we want to go and win and do really well in.”