Taken from Pickering Town FC club website.
Below-par Pikes scrape through in Senior Cup
By Mike Martin | Tuesday 30th October 2012
Pickering survived a dreadful second half performance to overcome Northern League strugglers Thornaby at Mill Lane.
With Thornaby struggling near the foot of the Northern League second division, the game looked like it might be a formality when Steve Baxter's cross-shot was turned in at close range by Liam Salt in the sixth minute. Shortly afterwards, a Tom Reid shot spun up off Thornaby 'keeper Paul Hubbard and threatened to bounce over the goal-line but the goalkeeper recovered and managed to scramble the ball inelegantly behind for a corner.
Pickering never looked assured, though, and struggled to impose themselves on physical opponents. Thornaby began to threaten and equalized in the 23rd minute when Rocky Andrews's free-kick from the left wing found a way through a crowded penalty area and into the bottom corner of the Pickering goal.
Pickering appeared affronted at having conceded and, in the last twenty minutes of the first half, played comfortably their best football of the game. They re-took the lead in the 34th minute when Steve Baxter and Dean Craig exchanged passes on the edge of the area and Baxter, playing tonight on the right wing, struck a well-hit shot into the bottom corner from twenty yards for the best goal of the game.
Five minutes later Pickering looked to have secured passage into the second round when a corner was only cleared to Tom Clarke on the edge of the penalty area. Clarke's shot looked to be heading wide but central defender Simon Sturdy, doing a passable impersonation of Teddy Sheringham in the 1999 Champions League Final, diverted the ball into the net.
For reasons connected to the shortness of life, this report will not faithfully document all of the Pikes' shortcomings in the second half but it was shambolic stuff at times, with possession squandered frequently and the attackers hardly mustering a chance of note; only a Tom Clarke run and shot threatened Hubbard's goal but even that was well wide.
Pickering defended using the by-hook-or-by-crook method and on the whole it worked, with Readman looking solid. Tom Reid was withdrawn in the 59th minute and, with John Heads coming on, Dean Craig moved to right-back. The referee had a busy night, with Pickering conceding too many free-kicks in dangerous positions and a Thornaby coach sent to the stands for expressing his opinions in a tone which hardly presaged a future career move into the diplomatic service.
Thornaby deserved a goal back and it came in the 73rd minute when striker Gary Mitchell found David Howe in space in the area and Howe slid the ball past Arran Reid into the bottom corner. It was a nervous end for the home side as a succession of corners and free-kicks had to be defended. The hosts did create two good late chances: a good run by Craig ended with Liam Shepherd having a shot charged down and a Salt effort a minute late suffered the same fate.
Readman had to produce one vital late defensive header from virtually under his own crossbar and Craig prevented Karl Liley from countering down the left wing at the death. On the basis that the result is all that matters in knockout football, this was a good evening for Pickering Town, but they will have to improve hugely if they are to beat Long Eaton United in the league on Saturday.
PICKERING TOWN 3 (Salt 6'; Baxter 34'; Sturdy 39')
THORNABY 2 (Andrews 23'; Howe 73')
Pickering Town (4-2-3-1): 1. A Reid - 2. T Reid (15. Heads 59'), 4. Resdman, 5. Sturdy (c), 3. Gowen - 6. Patterson (14. Taylor 61'), 8. Craig - 9. Baxter (17. Danby 70'), 11. Shepherd, 7. Clarke - 10. Salt
Unused subs: 12. McNaughton, 16. Fenwick
Correspondent's Man of the Match: Dean Readman
COMMENT & SHARE
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Steve Woodrow - 4 hours ago
I agree wholeheartedly with your report Mike the lads made hard work of a game that looked promissing in the first 30 mins, then we seemed to just loose our way, it was a physical game with some really hard tackles going in, but the ref and his assistants did well to keep control. Our performance on Saturday will have to improve if we are to get another 3 points in the league.
"UP THE PIKES"