PICKERING Town may have their NCEL Premier Division safety assured, but their woeful end of season form showed no sign of stopping as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to play-off chasers Albion Sports.

Nathan Dyer provided a youthful Pikes’ only response to goals from experienced striker Ash Flynn and Dom Staunton inside the game’s opening 20 minutes on an afternoon in which they offered relatively little.

That extended Pickering’s winless run to nine matches ahead of their penultimate league match at home to champions Emley this evening (7:45pm).

Albion, hoping to secure the division’s final play-off place, came out of the blocks well, forcing Harrison McGuire into a double save before Ryan Conlon’s effort was cleared off the line with just five minutes played.

Staunton headed over from a corner before the visitors took a deserved lead on the quarter hour, with captain Aran Basi finding Robbie Fox, who put it on a plate for Flynn to crash the ball home.

Basi volleyed another effort over McGuire’s crossbar before Albion doubled their lead in spectacular style, Staunton striking home on the volley from 40 yards to leave mouths agape at Mill Lane.

Flynn then struck the crossbar as he looked to fire the Bradford side further in front.

Instead, it was Dyer who gave the Pickering faithful something to cheer with half an hour played, taking Omar Sanyang’s pass in his stride before firing past Kyle Trennery to pull a goal back.

Albion were then dealt an injury blow, with the influential Fox pulling up seven minutes before the break.

They continued to see the better of the chances come their way, but Conlon’s audacious bicycle kick sailed narrowly over the bar in the closest either side came to another before the interval.

Staunton headed another effort off the post as Albion refused to let up after the break, with appeals for a penalty then turned down with a little over 20 minutes remaining.

Hass Gorji saw a strike blocked before Conlon again fired just over the crossbar, with Pickering offering little in way of a response as the visitors ran out comfortable 2-1 victors.

Pickering remain 23rd, with Albion Sports occupying fifth place, and the final play-off spot.