PICKERING Town obtained a useful point on Saturday when they drew 1-1 at next-to-bottom Maltby Main, in their first game under returning boss Jimmy Reid.
Both teams had changes from the previous week at Pickering, when fellow NCEL premier division strugglers Main had won 1-0, Reid taking the reins for the first time since the departure of Pete Vasey last Wednesday..
The Pikes started the better of the two sides kicking down the famous Maltby slope, after four minutes Tom Adams cut inside and his 20-yard right-foot shot went over the crossbar.
Seven minutes later good work by Joel Ramm allowed Russell Parker to go on a right wing run, his cross found Adams whose effort was very close to giving his side the lead.
Maltby’s first effort arrived after 17 minutes when Mick Jones had a 30-yard right foot shot superbly saved by Pikes keeper Adam Mitchell.
A minute later Danny McKenzie combined well with Paul Lavender who outpaced Chris Gowan down the visitors right wing, his cross found Sam Foulds whose superb header hit the bar with Mitchell beaten.
Six minutes later Maltby’s Rob Branagan crossed the ball from the right wing for Jones to head the ball goalwards but Mitchell saved well.
Maltby took the lead after 31 minutes when Pikes defender Dave Thompson slipped which allowed Ben Langford to nip and his low right foot shot beat the advancing Mitchell into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of half-time debutant Thomas Reid had a good effort for the Pikes but the home keeper Scott Thompson saved superbly.
The second half commenced with Maltby much more determined, they also became a little more physical, Mick Jones was cautioned after 48 minutes when he could so easily have been sent off for aiming a punch at Joel Ramm, four minutes later he received a straight red card for a late tackle on Paul Hodgson.
Gowan had a good free-kick for the Pikes after 59 minutes which went into the goal off a Pikes player’s head but this player was adjudged by the assistant to be offside.
The last 20 minutes saw the game swing from end to end, McKenzie and Langford going close for Maltby, Steve Baxter, Liam Salt, and Adams close for the Pikes.
Town equalised after 87 minutes, an excellent left wing cross by Nathan Kamara, a debutant signed from Farsley Celtic, was handled by a Maltby defender, up stepped skipper Tom Adams to take the penalty and put the ball wide of keeper Thompson to earn his side a well-deserved point.
The Pikes new management team of Reid and Steve Brown will reflect on this game as a point won, the pitch was uneven after they had played an under-19s game on Wednesday evening in very poor weather conditions, the pitch was covered in snow on Thursday, and very little work done to the pitch before this game on Saturday.
Pikes manager Reid was pleased with a point but thought the Pikes should have had all three as he couldn’t understand why the goal midway in the second half had been disallowed,
The Pikes will now have time to re-group and get ready for the Boxing Day home game with bottom team Selby Town, kick off 3pm.
The Pikes team: Mitchell, Parker (Taylor 67), Gowan, Hodgson, Thompson, Reid, Ramm, Adams, Baxter, Salt (Fenwick 86), Derrick (Kamara 56). Gunn not used.