It’s not often a side will lose 5-0 and feel lucky, but Pickering will be thanking their stars they didn’t get hit for double figures at Sandy Lane.
The Pikes met a Worksop Town side who utterly dominated possession, scored five, missed a penalty, hit the bar and were denied by goal-line clearances and a keeper playing a blinder.
You could run down the entire teamsheet lauding the performances of the young men in neon orange.
Luke Shiels was imperious, Jake Scott controlling, Alex Pursehouse menacing, Jonathan Wafula dynamic, Tom Elliott classy and Connor Sellars creative – helping himself to four assists.
Elliott celebrated his first start of the season in fine style just three minutes in, taking Sellars’ through ball and slotting past Callum Myers.
Frank Belt tried to level things up with a spectacular volley and Ben Gathercole pulled off a fine save.
Worksop were playing quick passing football and it paid off on 13 minutes, Mitch Husbands crossing from the right, Sellars miscueing his shot straight to Elliott who swept home.
A minute later it could have been three for the Carlton-in-Lindrick teen, but when he got the ball in space on the edge of the area his shot was tame.
Myers made another stop from Sellars and Shiels glanced a header wide.
Pickering simply couldn’t get the ball, chasing shadows as Worksop passed it back and forth before fashioning space for Wafula to run into – the offside flag halting his progress.
Another fantastic move involved Wafula, Pursehouse and Husbands, who curled a lovely shot onto the crossbar.
It was one way traffic, Scott fancying his luck from distance and testing Myers with a fierce blast. A Sellars corner was then headed over by Shiels.
A deserved 3-0 lead materialised with 10 minutes left in the half, Sellars’ whipped corner nodded in by Husbands.
Pickering almost clawed one back from a corner of their own, Lewis Taylor’s volley looking dangerous until Sam Liversidge got in the way.
Wayne Aziz pulled Dre Johnson over in the box and didn’t get away with it initially as the officials spotted the foul. But he must have been a relieved man when Scott’s spot-kick was saved well by Myers.
The visitors were clearly becoming frustrated and Frank Belt was lucky to stay on the pitch when he appeared to kick out at a prone Connor Smythe.
After the break Sellars forced his way through two challenges and slotted Johnson through, Myers saving again.
He could do nothing on 66 minutes when Sellars crossed to the back post and Shiels headed into the net.
Over elaborate football in their own area actually benefitted Worksop when Pickering committed too many players to hunting the ball, Tigers broke and Wafula battled for possession before freeing Johnson who ran on to score the fifth.
Pickering somehow kept it to five when Myers challenged Johnson outside the area, Elliott saw his lob cleared off the line, the ball fell to Johnson and his header was blocked.
Elliott forged a late chance, beating Robbie Hawkes twice and then running to the edge of the area only to see his shot blocked.
If that’s as good as it gets at Sandy lane this season, no one will be complaining.
Five goals, a five star performance – not bad for a fiver.
Worksop: Gathercole 7, Pursehouse 8, Smythe 7, Scott 8, Liversidge 7, Shiels 9, SELLARS 9 (Jordan 83), Wafula 8, Husbands 7 (Twell 76), Johnson 7 (Whincop 81), Elliott 8. Not used: Dawson, Hawkins.
Pickering Town: Myers, Hawkes, Patterson, Aziz, Cook, Ramm, Taylor (Henderson 82), Logan, Hackworth (Danby 61), Belt. Not used: Woodhead.
Referee: Mr J. Rhodes. Assistants: Mr S. Holroyd, Mr B. Tomlinson.
Goalscorers: Elliott 3, 13, Husbands 35, Shiels 66, Johnson 71.
Yellows: Husbands 76; Patterson 38, Taylor 50, Hawkes 90.