PICKERING Town have replaced manager Denny Ingram with former Scarborough Athletic first-team coach Steve Roberts.

Ingram was sacked in the wake of the Pikes' New Year's Day defeat to Tadcaster Albion, which left Pickering two points adrift at the foot of the Northern Premier League north/west division.

With just three league wins from 21 games this term, Pickering chairman Wayne Taylor admitted this was not the position he expected the Pikes to be in.

Like last season, when Ingram took over from former boss Paul Marshall, Taylor is hopeful a management shake-up can be the tonic Pickering need to survive - though that does not mean it was an easy decision for him to make.

Roberts' first test as manager will be a trip to Ramsbottom United today (3pm).

Taylor's statement on Pickering's website reads: "The club would like to put on record their sincere thanks to Denny for all his hard work and endeavour while he has been manager, but unfortunately football is very much a results game and our results this season have been disappointing.

"We wish Denny all the best for the future."

Taylor added of Roberts, who drops down from the NPL premier division: "He is no stranger to the area or the club having played for the Pikes in the early 2000's.

"We give Steve a warm welcome to the club and wish him every success."

Speaking to The Press, Taylor said: "Survival was our aim at the start of the season, and it's the aim now.

"I didn't expect to be bottom at this time of the year. We had to make a change and hopefully the change will get us up.

"One of the most disappointing things is our away form - we haven't had a point all season.

"We've had a lot of bad luck, but in football, you make your own luck.

"I can't say Denny and the backroom staff aren't trying their hardest, because they are, but I thought we needed a different look at the side and different ideas.

"Hopefully there will be a change like when Denny took over - a bit of fire and a different face can make all the difference.

"Denny's been in football all his life, he's worked under numerous managers and he understands that if the team aren't doing as well as they should be, the manager's job is always in danger.

"That's football. It's a terrible game if you're a manager.

"As manager, it's your job to get rid of players, and if they don't perform, it's the manager who suffers.

"Denny's a friend as well as Pickering Town's ex-manager.

"As far as hard work goes, he put his heart and soul into it, but in the end it didn't work.

"It's the worst thing you can possibly do.

"Sometimes it just has to be done, but you don't want to do it."

Taddy's win at Mill Lane sees them fifth and just in the north/west division play-off places.

Lebrun Mbeka gave the Brewer the lead on 28 minutes when he headed home from a Jack Walters free kick and Jake Day double the visitors' advantage with a six-yard volley before the break.

Elliott Holmes went close in the 42nd minute for Pickering before Day wrapped things up in the 77th minute, with Walters again assisting.

The Brewers host third-placed Pontefract Collieries today.

Selby Town are at home to Glasshoughton Welfare.