GETTING the wins “by hook or by crook” is Pickering Town manager Paul Marshall’s aim now as his side look to close the final two months of the Northern Counties East League premier season with a concerted push for promotion.

The fourth-placed Pikes have lived up to this mantra so far in 2018, winning their last six league games on the bounce – last time out beating Worksop Town 5-1 at home – and will be hoping to continue the run tomorrow when they visit Rainworth Miners Welfare.

Pickering’s ambitions have been helped along by recent squad boosts including the return of suspended striker Ryan Blott, who has netted eight in his last six games, and recent signings who are able to fill in gaps left by departures or injuries.

And Blott’s goals have proved a crucial asset for the seemingly free-scoring Pikes of late – although they have netted 33 times in their nine games since the turn of the year, they have conceded 17 in that timeframe, which Marshall last week said was a concern for him.

However, the boss also admitted that he is lucky to have the strike power to compensate for such defensive frailties, while he is also happy with the way his squad have coped with the loss of two star players to injury early this season.

He said: “It’s all about the results now and winning every game by hook or by crook. If we carry on as we are, we’ll finish second and that will be enough to get us promoted.

“We’ll never really end up at full strength after losing a main player like Nick Thompson – that would be a loss to any side.

“It’s the same with Harry Andrews, but the lads who have come in have shown they can do the job.”

“I don’t fancy the trip down there. It’s the longest trip of the season – around 100 miles from Pickering – and it’s even longer for the Scarborough-based players, especially after a day at work.

“They’re doing well in sixth at the moment. They’ve got a young manager in Craig Denton who was at Worksop last season and is bringing a lot of players with him.

“Kyle Jordan is doing well up front too.

“But it’s a nice big, flat pitch which will suit us.

“It was a good performance (against Worksop) but there was a little bit of naivety that led to their goal – a short corner that didn’t work and we conceded from it.

“But when you can score goals, it doesn’t really matter.”

Pickering’s Wednesday night fixture at Penistone Church has been rearranged for Wednesday, April 11.

Tomorrow, Harrogate Railway Athletic travel to the premier division’s second-placed side, Handsworth Parramore, who are unbeaten in six.

Handsworth won their last game 4-1 over Hemsworth Miners Welfare while the Rail sit 19th having lost their last five on the trot, most recently 3-1 at home to Bridlington Town.

Northern Counties East League division one sixth-placed Selby Town tomorrow travel to fifth-placed Shirebrook Town who won 3-0 at home to Dronfield Town last week.

The Robins beat Armthorpe Welfare 2-1 last time out.

Leaders Knaresborough Town are 13 games unbeaten in all competitions, winning 4-0 at Brigg Town last Saturday.

On Saturday they host 10th-placed Rossington Main who earned their only win of last month in the final weekend with a 3-2 home win against FC Bolsover.