THRILLED Guiseley manager Mark Bower saluted goalkeeping hero Steven Drench for saving the day in his side’s outstanding 1-0 victory over Skrill North leaders North Ferriby.
Drench made a fine penalty save to deny Nathan Jarman shortly after ex-Leeds United defender Ben Parker saw red in the 66th minute for pulling back Jamie Yates in the area.
Bower, whose side’s key goal was scored by another former Whites player in Gavin Rothery after just 10 minutes to seal a famous double over Ferriby, said: “It was a fantastic save from Drenchy. I have never, in all my time in football, been at a club with a goalkeeper who you have so much faith in him.
“I felt he had a really good chance to save it and it was a terrific save.
“We were delighted with the three points in the circumstances we achieved it in.
“They are the top-of-the-table side and freescoring and defensively, we were excellent.
“We showed determination to get the three points and that might be a vital win at the end of the season.”
The breakthrough arrived when Rothery placed a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Ferriby went on to manufacture chances with Jarman’s powerfully-struck free-kick impressively saved by Drench.
Guiseley nearly doubled the lead when Kevin Holsgrove rounded Ferriby keeper Antoni Pecora, but his shot lacked pace and Mark Gray cleared the ball off the line. Just before half-time, Guiseley were let off thanks to the offside flag when Danny Emerton curled the ball into the top corner. While Guiseley may have kept the lead, the dismissal of Parker meant the home side had to dig deep in the final quarter, and despite a few chances for Ferriby, Guiseley held on for a massive three points in their play-off quest.
Elsewhere, a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser from Anton Brown rescued a point for fifth-placed Harrogate Town in a 2-2 home draw with bogey side Colwyn Bay.
The Seasiders, who had previously beaten Town twice this term, took the lead on 16 minutes when Sean Williams’ shot squirmed under Craig MacGillivray.
Chris Hall headed in Connor Sellars’ corner to level on 39 minutes, but the visitors regained the lead through Rob Hopley 12 minutes from time, only for Brown to save the day.
Boss Simon Weaver said: “It was not the result we wanted as we were after the win.
“But with five minutes to go, we’d have taken the point and we showed a bit of character to press on.
“It was pretty gung-ho and we left ourselves open. But it was a case of ‘he who dares’.”
Bradford Park Avenue did Guiseley and Town a big favour by winning 1-0 at play-off candidates Brackley, with Paul Walker netting a stunning 90th-minute strike.