PICKERING Town have the opportunity to open up a five-point gap at the top of the Northern Counties East League premier division before fellow early pacesetters Pontefract Collieries play again on Tuesday night.

The Colls did not play midweek, nor will they play this Saturday, giving the Pikes the chance to consolidate their lofty position, albeit having played two games more.

Paul Marshall’s men are at home tomorrow, welcoming eighth-placed Rainworth Miners Welfare, who have won two, lost three and drawn one of their last six games.

Meanwhile, Ryan Blott bagged a hat-trick on Wednesday night at Parkgate to keep his spot as the league’s top scorer and help Town to the top of the table.

The Pikes were down 2-1 at half-time, but goals from Joe Danby and Blott in the 55th and 56th minutes put them in control.

In the last ten minutes, Joey McCormick and another Blott strike put the icing on the cake.

Lowly Harrogate Railway Athletic are preparing to face mid-table Handsworth Parramore at home.

Their Station View venue hasn’t been such a happy hunting ground for Railway of late, losing three games in a row there, 3-2 each time – to Barton Town, Bottesford Town and Parkgate – before their most recent game, a 1-0 win away at Willington.

Selby Town come into their division one clash at home to Shirebrook following a two-week break.

Shirebrook have an enviable record in the FA Vase so far, winning both of their games with a combined six second-half goals, but have not fared so well in the league this month, winning one and losing two.

The Robins, meanwhile, have a three-point lead over their visitors, having played two fixtures more, and have won two and drawn one in September’s four contests, averaging four goals a game.

Their last outing was the highly-impressive 8-1 victory over Nostell Miners Welfare at Richard Street.

Division one’s unbeaten leaders Knaresborough Town travel to fourth-placed Rossington Main, who have so far enjoyed an unbeaten September, with four wins and four draws.

Despite Knaresborough having played four of their five games away this month, their only blip has been a goalless stalemate away at AFC Emley.