JIMMY REID reckons tomorrow’s FA Vase clash with Billingham Synthonia is Pickering Town’s biggest game since he returned to the club.
The Pikes boss will restore five players to the starting line-up ahead of the Teessiders’ visit to the Recreation Ground for a second round match which is worth £1,200 to the victors.
Dean Readman, Liam Salt, Shaun Clarke, Lewis Taylor and John Heads all sat out Tuesday night’s 5-1 drubbing at Thackley in the Northern Counties East League Cup – a result Reid described as a “bad day at the office”.
Midfielder Ged Dalton played 60 minutes of an otherwise forgettable encounter on his return from injury and he is expected to go into the squad as Reid, and coach Steve Brown, try to mastermind Pickering’s passage into round three.
Synthonia, the only team in England to be named after an agricultural fertiliser, have a proud tradition in the Vase and, nearly two years ago, saw off Tadcaster Albion at the fourth round stage.
Able to play on a better surface than the “sticky” pitch which robbed them of their usual passing game at Thackley, Reid is expecting a very difference performance from his side in tomorrow’s encounter.
He said: “It’s the most important game since I came back here. The defeat against Thackley was a blip and we will be able to pass the ball better on Saturday. The lads have been told that when we meet up their heads need to be right and they need to be up for a battle.
“We have a lot of respect for them and we need to win the battles. We have done well in the big league games. We have had a couple of blips but we will be drumming them up. We want the lads to come off the pitch with no petrol left in the tank.”
Tadcaster Albion boss Paul Marshall fielded 11 under-21 players in his team’s 2-0 League Cup second round win at Brighouse Town in midweek, but the likes of Danny Gray, along with Chris Kamara and Nathan Kamara, will be back as the Brewers entertain Nostell Miners Welfare in the premier division.
Marshall said: “It’s a winnable game. We are in good form but they are a hard-working team and they can give you a game. They have had some good results against tough sides.”
They may be mired at the bottom of the NCEL division one table, but Selby Town have stopped taking applications for the top job at Flaxley Road – because they’ve already received far too many.
Phil Jones resigned after the Robins’ 2-1 loss to Grimsby Borough last weekend, the latest casualty in a conveyor belt of managers over the last couple of seasons, with the club four points adrift at the league’s basement.
Secretary Tommy Arkley says Selby, despite their current plight, have been inundated with applications for the manager’s job and they have stopped taking them so they can look at those who have expressed an interest.
“The interest in the position has been amazing given the position we are in and we wish to thank all the applicants,” he said.
Some of them might have been put off after Selby were humiliated 7-0 at AFC Emley on Tuesday night. The beleagured outfit go to Rossington Main tomorrow. The home side are 19th in the table and victory would help Selby close the gap to other stragglers.
Having gone to Vauxhall Motors and taken a 3-1 FA Trophy third qualifying round victory away from Liverpool, Harrogate Town entertain the car club at Wetherby Road tomorrow in Blue Square Bet North. Manager Simon Weaver’s men will travel to Gainsborough Trinity or Hinckley United in the first round proper later this month.
Harrogate Railway, meanwhile, are at Lancaster City in the Evo-Stik League first division north.