Pickering Town’s new year quest for a top six finish in the Northern Counties East League premier division will get its first stern test when Brighouse come to the Recreation Ground.

The Pikes, currently ninth in the standings, begin a run of six successive home games, and Pickering manager Jimmy Reid will have to cope without John Heads, who is banned.

He is hoping Ged Dalton will recover from a niggling injury – which has seen him visit a specialist – and take a place among the substitutes.

“They beat us 1-0 early in the season and they were a bit better than us then but we will be 50 per cent better than we were at the start of the season,” said Reid.

“We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully the boys will be able to step up again.

“Jamie Patterson steps in for John Heads and we are at full strength apart from him. We are playing some nice football and the lads are working hard for each other. We’ve had a few hiccups along the way and that is thrown at you as a manager.

“Browny (coach Steve Brown) has been great and we have changed the system a bit. That’s why we are kicking on.”

Selby Town are without a game this weekend.