THE final scoreline suggests an easy victory for Town, but for an hour this game was a real battle which in the end made it more satisfying to gain a convincing win.
Town made a decent start, with Shane Hamilton causing the home defence problems with his pace and power.
Pickering’s Stuart Rice delivered a superb ball into the box on five minutess which Tom Brown defended well at the back post.
Nick Jagger and Ryan Brook both made strong challenges on the edge of their own box to deny shooting opportunities for the home side.
Play had been fairly even when Town took the lead after 10 minutes.
Nothing seemed on for Anthony Haigh when he received the ball 25 yards from goal, so he took a touch then fired a left foot shot past keeper Chris Barrett, who seemed to be taken unawares by the early strike.
The goal spurred on Town, who were playing some neat attacking football with wide players Danny Naidole and Luke Gibson prominent and Hamilton and Tom Matthews linking well up front.
The nearest Town came to increasing their lead was when Naidole set up Gibson to shoot narrowly wide.
Pickering regathered their composure after conceding the goal and came back at Town.
Marc Thompson’s free kick was well saved by Ben Imeson and Jagger did superbly well to head clear a dangerous cross from Chris Gowen.
However, from the resulting corner Thompson headed home to give Pickering the equaliser on 16 minutes.
Town nearly regained the lead from the restart, Paul Quinn’s pass releasing Hamilton who rounded the keeper but was forced too wide to get a shot on target.
Tom Brown again did well to defend a clever pass into the box from Bradley Riley and then he did even better to hook a header from Jon Brown off the line.
Just before the half hour mark, Town created a couple of half chances.
Gibson’s free kick was flicked towards goal by Naidole but saved by Barratt, then Quinn slipped a pass through the defence for Matthews to shoot over from a narrow angle.
Pickering squandered their best chance of the half on 34 minutes.
Riley pulled the ball back for Chas Wrigley to blaze over the bar from 12 yards.
Town made the home side pay five minutes later with an excellent goal.
Quinn won a header in midfield that was picked up by Gibson.
He carried the ball before playing a fantastic reverse pass into the path of Haigh who finished confidently to give Town a half-time lead.
Pickering had their best period of the match in the opening 10 minutes of the second half when they really took the game to Town.
Imeson made two important saves within the opening minute.
First there was a diving save from a shot from the edge of the box and then he bravely smothered a shot down at the striker’s feet.
Town weathered the storm and started to get on top again.
Matthews was denied by a great tackle after Gibson and Hamilton had set him up.
Town started to turn the screw, with the front four causing all sorts of problems to the home defence.
Gibson had a shot saved, then Matthews squared the ball for Hamilton whose close range shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Lee Pallender.
Town got the all important third goal on 61 minutes.
James Sutcliffe played the ball forward to Hamilton who crossed for Matthews to slot home a deserved first goal for the club.
Town quickly put the game out of sight for their opponents by making it 4-1 on 65 minutes with a thumping header by Jagger from Naidole’s corner.
Matthews and Hamilton were combining well to create chances for each other and both brought saves from Barratt.
Greg Porter had already replaced Haigh due to a nasty cut, and Town also brought on Danny Hull and academy youngster Josh Martin.
Both players’ energy contributed well to ensure Town remained dominant.
With 10 minutes left Naidole went on a jinking run before setting up Matthews to score his second and Town’s fifth goal with a clinical finish.
Pickering had a late chance to pull a goal back but Imeson saved well when Reece Richards broke through.
There was a feeling in the Town camp that recent performances had not returned the results they deserved, so it was especially pleasing to get both the right performance and the right result and scoring five goals was the icing on the cake.