PICKERING Town boss Jimmy Reid has called tonight’s North Riding Senior Cup quarter-final the “biggest game” of their season, writes Dale Harris.
The Pikes face Grangetown Boys Club at Thornaby FC (7.45pm) following the postponement of the original last-eight fixture on January 23.
The sides have a big incentive as the winners will face Guisborough Town, the cup winners two years ago, at home in the semi-finals.
Pikes boss Reid said: “This is a big match for us.
“This is the most important game of the season for us. The cup is our priority and the league will just take care of itself. They knocked us out last season so it will be a tough match.”
Despite last Saturday’s Northern Counties East League premier division match against Staveley Miners Welfare being called off due to a waterlogged pitch, Reid stated: “We are very hopeful tonight’s game will be on.
“Although they haven’t played much recently, the players looked fit last Tuesday so should be fine.”
The Town boss also confirmed that he will have a full squad to choose from with goalkeeper Arran Reid and John Heads back from suspension.
With the Pikes sitting 11th in the Northern Counties East League premier division, the cup is their last chance of winning silverware this season.
On the possibility of a semi-final clash with Guisborough, Reid said: “If we get through, a home tie means you mentally have 60 per cent chance of winning even before you kick a ball.
“We’re very good at home and pass the ball around very well so we would have a great chance of making the final.
“We have to focus on the quarter-final first though.”
The other semi-final sees holders Middlesbrough reserves or Marske United take on York City reserves.
Meanwhile, NCEL premier division leaders Scarborough Athletic are in action at 15th-placed Maltby Main tonight (7.45pm).
Promotion-chasing Scarborough won the reverse fixture 4-0 in December.