Snainton Reserves kept their Beckett League second division promotion challenge alive with a 2-0 success at Heslerton Reserves.
Ash Hunt scored five minutes before half-time for the visitors, running onto a through ball and slotting into the corner.
Snainton were on top in the second half. On 70 minutes Ross Triffitt was through on goal and was taken down outside the area by the Heslerton keeper who consequently got a red card, this was followed by another red for a home defender for abusive language towards the referee. The visitors missed a penalty after handball in the area from a corner, Micky Dennis hitting the bar, but Josh Barrett got the second to make the game safe, heading in from close-range.
Pickering Knights moved into the top half of the league table with a 3-1 home win against second-from-bottom Rillington Athletic Reserves.
Skipper Adam Ridley, man of the match George McClaren and Rory Stead were the scorers for the Knights.
Central midfielder Nick Johnson scored the Rillington goal, with his partner in the heart of the midfield, Phil Horton claiming the man-of-the-match award.
Second-placed Union Rovers 2nds reduced the gap between themselves and leaders Ryedale Sports Club reserves with a 2-0 home triumph against Easingwold Town 3rds.
Rovers are still nine points behind the flawless Pickering team, but they do have a game in hand and more home wins like this will keep the pressure on Shaun Hornby’s side.
The top two sides meet at Rovers’ home ground this weekend, so the hosts, who are based at Norton College, must claim all three points to keep their title ambitions alive, while a Ryedale win would make it very difficult for anyone to catch them.
Thornton Dale Reserves also continue to edge away from the wrong end of the table, their latest result a 4-0 defeat of hosts Gillamoor Reserves.