MITCH COOK expects Pickering Town’s character to shine through once again when they travel to Staveley Miners Welfare tomorrow.
The Pikes found themselves 2-0 down and with only ten men just 20 minutes into their League Cup third round clash with Dronfield Town at the Recreation Ground on Tuesday night.
Ash Rawson and a Richie Marples penalty, dispatched after Callum Myers was sent off for a foul, left Cook’s men staring down the barrel.
But a Callum Mawbey own goal, two goals in two second half minutes from top scorer Joe Danby, and a last-minute Tony Hackworth penalty saw Pickering through a stern test.
Cook was delighted with the response of his men and wants them to recreate that spirit on the road against 17th placed Staveley in the Northern Counties East League premier division.
“They punished us and deservedly so,” he said of his side’s start against Dronfield. “But I know the lads and I know how they can play.
“We were looking into a black hole but I thought if we could just play we would have a chance and we did.
“It has to give the lads confidence. They showed what they could do. They knew they were at fault in the first half and they recovered well and had a great second half performance.”
On Staveley, Cook added: “In my time in the league, Staveley have always been one of the best sides. They are struggling this year but, if you go there thinking about that, you can end up with egg on your face.
“We have to be in the right frame of mind and it’s my job to ensure that. We need to take the character we showed on Tuesday night there.”
Myers is eligible to play at Staveley but Hackworth is unavailable. Otherwise, Cook has a full squad to pick from.
Tadcaster Albion manager Paul Marshall has warned his premier division table-toppers to be wary of complacency ahead of their game at Nostell Miners Welfare.
Nostell sit second-bottom with 11 games to play, but after losing only one of their four February outings, the Wakefield outfit could yet claw their way to safety.
Despite the gulf in league position between the teams, Marshall moved to deny any hint of a foregone conclusion against a side whose form has been improving.
“Nostell Miners are fighting for their lives as they’re trying to catch up Winterton Rangers to avoid relegation,” said Marshall.
“Any team that are fighting for their lives in this way are very dangerous, so we’ll have to be on our guard.”
The Brewers have signed former Newcastle United free agent Nicky Deverdics, who is expected to feature in tomorrow’s Cougar Park fixture.
The left-footed midfielder also had spells at Barnet, Gretna and Alfreton before making his Town debut in the midweek cup defeat at Eccleshill United.