Pickering Town manager Jimmy Reid believes tonight’s North Riding Senior Cup clash is hugely important, writes Mark Smith.
“It’s a massive game and a great chance to get to the semi-final,” said Reid after masterminding the Pikes rise to their best Northern Counties East League premier division position of the campaign.
Opponents Grangetown Boys Club ran out 4-2 victors when the two teams met at the same stage of the NRSC last season.
But Reid outlined the important changes to his ranks since that game. “The team is more settled and stronger this year.”
The Pikes will be looking to carry on the good run of form following their 2-0 NCEL top-flight victory over Maltby Main last Saturday.
“Everybody is available. John Heads has a dead leg and Dave Bramley has a slight ankle problem,” said Reid.
“They will be the walking wounded, but they should manage.”
Reid also praised the win on Saturday. “It was strong Maltby team, but I can’t remember our goalkeeper making a clear-cut save.”
He mentioned that the team as a whole did okay, but gave special mention to a couple of players.
“Steve Baxter did well and for Dave Bramley it’s another clean sheet,” said the Pikes’ boss.
“The past three weeks have been really good and we are now seventh in the league.”
In the premier division, Tadcaster Albion manager Paul Marshall is looking forward to the game against Nostell Miners Welfare tonight, but understands it will be tough.
Said Marshall: “Obviously my expectations are for us to win it, but we’ve got six players missing from the game on Saturday (a 4-0 win over Staveley).
“Our new signing Scott McGrory is out and Ryan Williams has left the club because he felt he wasn’t getting enough minutes on the pitch.”
Marshall was also pleased with the 4-0 win, adding: “It was a good performance. We could have had more than four goals.
“Leon Wrigglesworth made a good save to keep it at 4-0. It’s two clean sheets in a row now.”
Marshall had asked midfielder Nick Thompson beforehand what it was he wanted to improve. Goals was the answer and that task certainly came good as he scored two in the victory.