MANAGER Paul Marshall believes Pickering Town's home gates will rise again next season as a result of the club's league and cup success, writes Ian Appleyard.

The Pikes are taking around 500 supporters to Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on Monday May 15 (kick-off 7.30pm) for the final of the North Riding FA Senior Cup against Whitby Town.

That figure will be over THREE times the club's average home gate (149) which is a rise of 21 per cent on the 2015/16 season.

The club also finished runners-up in the Toolstation Northern Counties East premier division with a club record return of 97 points.

"You always hope that success will generate bigger crowds and a lot of people are getting excited about watching the team playing in a final at a Premier League stadium," said Marshall.

"We have had a record breaking season - and we are all extremely proud of that achievement," he added. "So I can't see any reason why our attendances should not rise again next season."

Midfielder Nick Thompson and winger Russ Parker were both rested for last weekend's final league game of the season at AFC Mansfield where striker Ryan Blott scored four times in in a 4-1 victory.

The Pikes had been trailing to an early goal from Matthew Plummer before Blott went on a scoring spree and took his tally for the season to 25 goals.

"It was a an excellent way to finish the league season and Ryan was outstanding," said Marshall who signed the striker at the start of the season from Scarborough Athletic.

With champions Cleethorpes Town winning their final game at Armthorpe Welfare, it means they finished 11 points clear of the Pikes.

Third placed Bridlington Town won their final game of the season at Garforth Town and finished nine points behind the Pikes.

Midfielder Ryan Cooper, meanwhile, is the only player likely to miss out on the Senior Cup final due to a knee injury.

"I am devastated for Ryan," said Marshall. "He is 30-years-old and it would have been his first opportunity to play at a big Premier League stadium."

Tickets for the final are currently on sale at Dunning Butchers Shop on Bridge Street, Television House in the Market Place, the Recreation Club, or via Mike Sturgess on 07823321999 who also has details of the coach trips taking supporters to the game.

Coach trips are also running from York with departure points at Acomb Green (5.15pm) and Fairfield Manor (5.30pm). Seats cost £10 and are available via 07949452054.

Next season, the Pikes will lose games against relegated trio Barton Town Old Boys, Armthorpe Welfare, and Retford United who have been replaced by promoted clubs Hall Road Rangers, Pontefract Collieries, and Penistone Church.

Goole AFC are dropping into the division after being relegated from Evo-Stik division one north.

Pikes V AFC Mansfield: Wells, Ingram (Dalton 55), Danby (Robinson 60), Taylor, Bissett, Tilsley, Chipps, Birch (Dunnett 65), Blott, Kamara, Denton. Unused substitutes: Parker, Thompson.