THE long trip to Pickering on Tuesday night was made even harder with the loss of midfield trio Matty Sparkes, Damien Hopkins and Danny Hull from the side that played so well against Bridlington on Saturday.
However, the strength of the Town squad was displayed with an excellent team performance in an entertaining goalless draw.
Town made a bright start, and pushed the home side on to the defensive.
The first chance came after eight minutes when Alex Hallam released Nicky Boshell but he overran the ball before shooting.
Two minutes later, Pickering had their first attack but Ben Charlesworth dealt with it with a towering header.
Town continued to play some excellent football on the frosty pitch, with Simon Wood, Alex Hallam, Mark Trueman, stringing a flowing move together resulting in Wayne Crossley’s dangerous cross being scrambled away for a corner.
When the ball came into the box from Boshell, Charlesworth flicked it on past the far post but Ash Townsend did well to turn it back.
Mark Trueman’s left foot shot was saved by Rob Clark in the Pickering goal with a point blank save for what turned out to be Town’s best chance of the game.
Play became fairly even although the two teams had different styles.
Town were trying to build through the midfield, while Pickering looked to play through balls, trying to use the pace of their quicker players, but both defences were on top form.
Town finished the half with another good spell of pressure and another sweeping move involving Wood, Crossley, and Boshell set up Trueman to shoot just wide.
Pickering started the second half pushing men forward and Town were forced on the defensive but with James Waggett again looking commanding in goal, the only scare was a low cross from Greening that just missed the far post.
Town responded with Crossley setting up Boshell whose shot was saved, and then Crossley had a shot deflected for a corner.
Pickering’s Billy Logan, had another couple of decent efforts at goal without testing Waggett.
Antony Brown replaced Trueman on 75 minutes and the academy player linked with Cartman to set up Crossley to be denied by keeper Clarke.
Two more Academy players, Andy Hawker and Alex O’Keefe replaced Crossley and Wdowczyk and their energy helped Town finish strongly as they looked for the winning goal.
Each team had a chance before the end, Waggett saving well from Nathan Cook, and Hallam hitting the side netting with an angled drive.
There was little between the two sides and both managers could put cases forward why their team should have won but a draw might have been a fair result.
Town come away from two very tough away games at Bridlington and Pickering with two very well earned points.
But more important maybe, was the confidence they should gain from the performances, which were both full of commitment and skill and also showed the team spirit of the squad as everyone played their part covering for injured players.