PICKERING Town’s winless run stretched to five after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Penistone Church on Saturday.

Despite Kieran Stares putting Pickering ahead from the spot just 17 minutes in, goals from Kieran Ryan and Jordan Barnett saw Penistone secure an important three points in their push for the Northern Counties Eastern League play-offs.

In a heated start to the match, Eddie Newsome provided a positive start for the hosts as the Pickering midfielder struck the frame of the post from 20-yards out, just two minutes in.

But as Pickering continued to work their way into the contest, a foul on Paul Young gifted the Pikes an early penalty.

Some 18 minutes in, Stares stepped up and powered the penalty home in an otherwise uneventful first-half.

The second-half promised more action, and an opportunity for Pickering to double their lead from the spot went begging.

Captain Wayne Brooksby was upended in the area, forcing the referee to award a second spot-kick of the afternoon to the Pikes, but this time around Stares could only strike the woodwork as the visitors’ hopes of a comfortable lead went away.

And that miss would prove detrimental just ten minutes later, as Penistone drew level on the hour mark.

A brilliant free-kick from Barnett found an onrushing Ryan inside the box, with the Church striker comfortably dispatching the ball past Harrison McGuire.

And with just ten minutes left to play, Penistone took the lead for the first time in the match as the provider turned goalscorer.

Former Oldham Athletic full-back Barnett put away a fantastically well-worked goal, with the Penistone man producing an impressive finish into the far corner.

The referee brought an eventful game to a close with Pickering unable to end their poor run of form, now sitting in 17th position and eight points clear of the drop zone.

Pickering Town: McGuire, Roddam, B. Sanyang, Avison, Robinson, Marshall, Brooksby, Young, O. Sanyang, Stares, Dyer

Subs: Prata, Knowles, Barbu