“WE’LL have to have our shooting boots on,” said Paul Marshall ahead of Garforth Town’s visit to Pickering Town tomorrow.

The Pikes manager knows all about his upcoming Northern Counties East League premier opponents, having worked with the Miners’ bosses Rob Hunter and Mark Smitheringale at Tadcaster Albion, while keeper Peter Lawrie has played between the sticks at Mill Lane.

And Marshall is full of the praise for the former Pikes’ shot-stopper, warning that his strike force will have to be on top form to get past him – indeed, Marshall recognises the whole team’s threat, citing their commitment and their top scorer, Mark Simpson, who has netted 20 times this season.

He said: “They’re a hard team to beat. They work hard for each other, and they’ve got quality up front in their danger man, Mark Simpson.

“We’re in with a chance if we can stop their forwards. We’ve got some of the best strikers in the division – but we’ll have to have our shooting boots on to beat Lawrie.”

Pickering received a boost prior to last weekend’s 4-0 home win over bottom side Clipstone with the return of top marksman Ryan Blott from suspension.

Back playing alongside strike partner Billy Logan, it took only eight minutes for Blott to get the first of his two goals, with Logan grabbing the other two.

But it was the three points, rather than the manner of the win, that Marshall seems more pleased with, while onlookers may have expected the Pikes to turn the screw and put more goals past the visitors.

Marshall has previously emphasised the importance of winning every game from now until the end of the season if Pickering are to maintain their promotion aspirations, and his reaction to the game came as little surprise.

The good news for the Pikes is that their squad is now more of less at maximum strength, which appears to have given Marshall the best kind of managerial headache.

He said: “I’m just pleased to chalk off another win. We probably should have scored 10. Four was a bit disappointing!

“We’ve got our two main strikers back together, and George Eustance has done well. He’s very quick, and he’ll cause defences problems.

“Russ is still with us – he leaves in two weeks – but wasn’t in the squad because we’ve got too many players fit and waiting. It’s the same for Kioki Hutchings.”

Marshall also commented on the defeat at Scarborough last Tuesday. Despite the defeat to their local rivals, he is taking the positives from the performance.

He said: “We gifted them the game – it was two stupid errors that cost us.

“But the way we competed shows our team is capable of playing at the next level, should we make promotion.”

Pickering have also completed the re-signing of Robert Chipps, but he will not be available at the weekend. There should be no other absences.

The premier division’s 20th-placed side Harrogate Railway Athletic make the trip to leaders AFC Mansfield tomorrow. The Rail lost 2-1 at home to Hall Road Rangers last time out, while Mansfield won 3-0 at Handsworth Parramore.

Division one promotion-hopefuls Selby Town narrowly lost 2-1 at Glasshoughton Welfare, and tomorrow travel to the division’s top scorers, fourth-placed Yorkshire Amateur.

Leaders Knaresborough Town are at home to mid-table Swallownest after having won 4-1 at East Yorkshire Carnegie last week.