Table topping Tadcaster Albion made it ten wins in eleven Northern Counties East League Premier Division matches in taking the North Yorkshire derby 2-1 over Pickering Town.
Goals from Josh Greening and Tom Chamberlain either side of Jo Danby’s second-half leveller saw Tad to victory in a feisty encounter, which saw the Pikes end with 10 men.
Goalkeeper Tom Morgan was Albion’s hero of the hour, though, as he produced a string of excellent saves to earn the man of the match award and maintain Albion’s one point lead at the top.
Albion won the corresponding derby 5-0 last season, and it looked like a similar scorecard could have been on the cards when Greening took his tally to 17 goals for the season inside 10 minutes.
The prolific marksmen, who committed his future to Albion this week, broke the Pikes offside trap before cushioning into the corner - to the delight of the 523-strong crowd at the i2i Stadium.
Tad saw a lot of the ball in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to carve out many more scoring opportunities. And at the other end, Danby was again proving his talent and he kept Morgan occupied with a low shot which the keeper parried.
Captain Nick Thompson wasted a good opportunity on the stroke of half-time when his low shot was saved by Myers.
Albion’s midfield were quicker to the ball in the early part of the second period, but the pendulum swung in Pickering’s favour when Danby levelled. The visiting striker capitalised on George Bissett’s error to brilliantly lift over Morgan and silence the home crowd.
Morgan got retribution minutes later when, at full stretch, he palmed away another left-footed shot from the Pikes forward.
The keeper then had to be on red alert again five minutes later to deny Lewis Taylor and Ryan Cooper.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Albion grabbed their winner. Thompson’s throughball was missed by Town defender Tony Hackworth and Greening scampered through before rounding Myers. The striker looked to have taken it too far but his scuffed cut-back was followed in by young substitute Chamberlain at the near post.
The match was persistently edgy, with a moment of handbags in the second half which saw two Pickering players booked. And the Pikes battle became steeper when substitute Robbie Hawkes was shown a straight red for a lunge on Thompson on the half-way line.
The away side had one last attempt in injury-time to take a share of the spoils. As the ball broke loose in the Albion penalty area, it fell at Sam Calvert’s feet but the forward’s shot was denied by the brilliance of Morgan, with Paddy Miller rescuing his team at the follow-up.
Meanwhile, Harrogate Railway were on the wrong side of a high-scoring clash at Kendal Town as Billy Miller’s men went down 4-3.
Malachi Farquharson pulled Railway level in the first half but Kendal took an advantage into their dressing room with a goal on the stroke of half-time.
A Nathan Cartman penalty, the striker’s tenth goal of the season, levelled the scores again in the second period before Kendal took a two-goal cushion.
Defender Mike Morris made for a tense final few minutes with Railway’s third but Miller’s goal-hungry men were unable to find a dramatic equaliser.
Knaresborough Town moved up to 14th in NCEL Division One with a 2-2 draw at Louth Town, with teenagers Mitchell Hamilton and George Eustance on target.