Pickering boss confident tide will turn

NPL Division One East 

Pickering Town manager Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts is confident the tide is beginning to turn for Pickering Town.

The Pikes lost all three of their opening NPL Division One East fixtures – to Shildon, Pontefract Collieries and promotion contenders Marske United

But since they have drawn with Hebburn Town, Brighouse Town and Yorkshire Amateur – and narrowly lost to Stocksbridge Park Steels and Tadcaster Albion.

Those five performances have given Roberts belief.

“The first few results were fairly disastrous and that put question marks on one-or-two who were bright in pre-season,” Roberts told Non League Yorkshire.

“When the season started we played sides who were stronger than the ones we had played in pre-season and one-or-two struggled at this level.

“The perception is ‘Pickering, easy three points’, but we are a competitive side.

“Over the last five games, we have had two 2-2 draws, two 3-2 defeats and a 0-0 so we are close to getting points.

“Since the 7-0 drubbing (at Marske) we have became more competitive which is pleasing.

“I speak about it all the time (how the league is unforgiving) and it is down to decisions and fine margins and we haven’t been on the right end of the luck at times.

“(On Saturday at Yorkshire Amateur) we’ve had a couple of offside goals and their ‘keeper made a couple of great saves.

“But it has been a tough (start) and it is a tough league and that’s why I and the players want to be in this league. 

“We are going in the right direction.

“There’s a possibility of one-or-two additions and I think we’re getting closer to a stronger group.”

New Pickering signing Sam Barker leaving Ammers captain Matt Dempsey floored in Saturday’s 0-0
Devonte Morton in action for Pickering

Alhassane Keita (Brighouse Town), Sam Barker (Garforth Town) and former Goole AFC striker Devonte Morton are three of the recent new recruits.

And they may not be the last.

“It is non-stop and my secretary hates me because I’m constantly saying ‘will you put in an approach on this player’,” Roberts said.

“With logistics of where we are I have to approach 20 to 25 players, as daft as it sounds, to get one.

“That’s the process I have to go through.

“It is great to have Dev in and he’s a different presence.

“Alhassane has settled in really well.

“Sam Barker was a threat (on Saturday) so I’m really pleased he’s joined us.

“We’re looking at one-or-two possibility but we have Ben Clappison back from suspension so that’s a big plus.”

It does not get easier for Pickering as flawless Liversedge are up next for them tonight.

‘Sedge have won all seven of their fixtures.

“I don’t mind the challenge of it,” he said.

“We matched Yorkshire Amateur 11 v 11 so we have to take the positive of that.

“We know (Liversedge) are a good, strong side and they have beaten Marske.

“We know what we are going to get there and we have to compete and in fairness to us we have competed better in the last two games.

“It is a free shot and moving forward we are getting close to where we need to be.”

If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. 

Our work is playing an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.

You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.

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