Redcar Athletic were forced to settle for another point at home as a resilient Pickering Town side kept the forward line at bay.
Isaac Walker rolled the Steelmen level early in a dominant second half showing, with the Pikes defending their point impeccably to deny Athletic from securing their second home victory of the season.
Two changes were made to the starting line-up from Wednesday night’s victory in Heaton, with Donny Holdsworth returning to the fold, ready to face off against his former side, whilst Matty Garbutt replaced match winner Jordan Rivis in the centre of midfield.
The contest began as an even affair, with the Steelmen slightly off-colour, and Pickering looking brighter than in previous matches.
Former Steelmen Bobby Rye had the first chance for the Pikes inside three minutes, glancing a headed effort over the bar, whilst Redcar forward Alfie Conway hooked a volley from outside the area well off target around 10 minutes later.
Midway through the first period, a corner was once again Redcar’s undoing as Jamie Thornton rose highest at the front post, flicking the ball across the area and into the far side netting to snatch the lead for the Pikes.
The returning Bobby Rye remained a constant threat for the Steelmen, coming close to doubling the visitors lead before the interval as he ghosted in behind the backline, failing to make contact on a dangerous cross.
The second period was the epitome of the phrase ‘a game of two halves’, with Redcar in complete authority of the contest, in stark contract to their timid performance before the break.
Walker came close to drawing the sides level early in the half, his effort from the left side of the box tipped away for a corner by Pickering shot-stopper Jack Norton, who showed quick reflexes to punch Proctor’s effort from the resulting cross away and to safety.
After another couple of chances went amiss for Redcar, with Conway heading over and Holdworth seeing an effort blocked on the line, Isaac Walker finally found the equaliser in the 57th minute, latching on to Alfie Conway’s delicate through ball and slotting passed Jack Norton at the near post.
Moments later, the Steelmen had a golden opportunity to jump in front, with Norton continuing what was an incredible showing with a spectacular double save, punching away Walker’s curling effort before jumping to his feet to block Holdsworth’s follow up from close-range.
Redcar created many more chances in the final half hour of the contest, with Norton’s block on Coleman’s low effort the standout, but couldn’t quite break the deadlock, whilst the Pikes were held at bay in part by a standout performance from York City loanee Ben Dale, who seemed on hand every time the visitors crossed the halfway line.
Right at the death, the Steelmen had one last chance to steal all three points, Isaac Walker taking the ball around Jack Norton and firing goalwards, his effort cleared off the line at the back post to the utter dismay of the home crowd, leaving them to contend with a lone point for the second game in a row.
Redcar Goal Scorers: Issac Walker (57).
|20/08/2022||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|