PICKERING Town are looking to end term on a high with an eye on next season after being virtually guaranteed Evo-Stik League east division safety by default.

The Pikes visit 17th-placed Wisbech Town tomorrow (3pm) knowing that anything other than victory for basement side Gresley at Tadcaster Albion will guarantee Step 4 football for another season.

Then, on Easter Monday, Pickering host Taddy in a North Yorkshire derby.

AFC Mansfield have accepted relegation back down to Step 5 after failing to meet ground-grading criteria by the deadline of March 31. The league have since confirmed that the Bulls will take one of the Step 4 relegation spots, essentially granting a reprieve to the team that finishes second-bottom.

Pikes manager Denny Ingram, however, is not interested in putting his feet up just yet.

On Tuesday night, the Pikes were beaten 4-1 at champions Morpeth Town - the third in a trio of losses comprising a valiant display in a 3-2 reversal at Pontefract and a lacklustre performance at Mill Lane that saw Brighouse Town leave with a 2-0 win.

He said: "This is a great opportunity to get back to winning ways after three defeats. It's vital we end the season on a positive note."

Of the Pikes' near-safety, he added: "It's bittersweet because, although we're safe, I wanted it to be because of us and not somebody else.

"I feel for the (Mansfield) players, Mark Ward (manager) and Froggy (Jon Froggatt, assistant-manager) because they've done a remarkable job.

"We're relatively safe, but I'm not interested in that. What we do from now until the end of the season is to build for next season and hit the ground running.

"It's nice to get confirmation but it doesn't mean anything to me really, it doesn't change how I approach the games or what I expect of the players when they pull on the Pickering Town shirt."

Pickering will be without Stuart Mott, Ged Dalton and Josh Greening. George Bissett is an injury concern but Nick Thompson should be clear of a niggle from the weekend.

Tadcaster could not only do their rivals a favour tomorrow with a win over Gresley, but also keep alive their faint hopes of getting into the play-offs.

The Brewers stand a chance of cutting to six points the gap to fifth-placed Sheffield FC, who are at second-placed Pontefract.

Albion might see it as less of a favour, though.

Club spokesman Jay Taylor said: "We're definitely looking forward to (playing Pickering) and the chance to get one back over them after Boxing Day. It was a real smash-and-grab (Pickering won 1-0) but they had a game plan and it worked.

"We've got to win on Saturday first. Beating Gresley might work in our favour in two ways as Pickering might not be as up for it, and we've got to get our points."

In the premier division, Scarborough Athletic host Grantham Town tomorrow and visit South Shields on Easter Monday.

Selby Town look likely to spend another season in Northern Counties East League division one. The Robins - who are four points off the final play-off spot - travel to third-placed Hallam tomorrow. Knaresborough Town visit Yorkshire Amateur in the premier division.

Promotion hopefuls Harrogate Town visit Leyton Orient today (3pm) in the National League, shown live on BT Sport 1, before hosting Gateshead on Monday.