PICKERING Town gained a fortunate point against third placed Thackley last weekend in the Northern Counties East League premier division.

The Pikes, who started the game in second place, took the lead in bizarre fashion after just two minutes.

Joe Danby’s corner was cleared off the line but the ball hit George Bissett and flew into the top corner of the net.

The Pikes would have doubled their lead in the 11th minute but for a great save by Thackley goalkeeper Luke Wilsons who tipped Ryan Blott’s 25 yard shot round the post for a corner.

Thackley settled down and started to play some good, open football. Luke O’Brien fired a 25 yard shot straight at Pikes goalkeeper Toby Wells who also blocked a long range shot from skipper Pat McGuire.

The best Pikes move of the half arrived on 25 minutes when Thompson ran down the left wing, beating several defenders, before crossing the ball to Taylor whose 20 yard shot was deflected for a corner.

Play switched to the opposite end with a quick break only for Mike Garrod’s shot to be saved by Wells.

Two minutes later, the Pikes were on the attack with Ryan Cooper’s effort put over his own crossbar by the visitors’ Jerome White.

From Danby’s right wing corner, Niall Tilsley headed over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

A minute before half-time, Taylor crossed the ball for Thompson again to head the ball onto the top of the crossbar.

The second half saw Wilson producing another excellent save after 49 minutes to prevent Taylor from scoring with an 18 yard shot.

Daniel Broadbent then raced clear for the visitors but his angled shot went wide of the Pikes’ goal.

Thackley’s equaliser arrived in the 57th minute. McGuire’s corner found Garrod at the far post who scored from an acute angle.

Disaster stuck for Thackley on the hour mark when Joseph Brown was sent off for serious foul play.

Had the referee given the initial Pickering foul, the incident leading to Brown’s dismissal would not have happened - however, the sending off inspired the visitors and, in the end, they could easily have won the game.

Wells made good saves to deny both Ryan Farrell and Garrod but Thackley goalkeeper Wilson also saved well to prevent Blott scoring with a 30 yard right foot shot after 75 minutes. In the 81st minute, Danby’s freekick into the box which was missed by four Pikes players. Two minutes from time, Ben Hurst, Danby, and Blott all missed good chances for the Pikes.

In added time the visitors missed the two best chances of the game when Farrell blazed over with the goal at his mercy and Wells saved to deny Farrell. Bissett was cautioned in stoppage time.

Pikes: Wells, Cooper, Danby, Chipps, Bissett, Tilsley, Thompson, Taylor (Hurst 78), Blott, Ingram, Robinson (Dalton 89). Substitutes not used: O.Marshall, C Marshall. Attendance:153.