MARK BOWER insists that parking the bus just isn’t an option for his Guiseley side ahead of tomorrow’s Skrill North play-off semi-final second leg at North Ferriby United (3pm).
The Lions head east mindful that one half of the job has been successfully negotiated following a well-deserved 2-0 first leg win over the Villagers at Nethermoor, with the impressive front duo of Adam Boyes and Oli Johnson netting a goal apiece.
It leaves Guiseley as firm favourites to book a final spot at either Hednesford or Altrincham on Saturday week, not that Bower is taking anything for granted.
His Guiseley side showed energy, threat and penetration against Ferriby on Wednesday evening, but the savvy young manager is mindful tomorrow could be a different proposition with 2-0 still a potentially dangerous scoreline.
That said, Guiseley will not be sitting back on their gains and neither should they after troubling the harassed Ferriby rearguard all game, with Bower appreciating that the next goal in the tie could be the key one.
Bower said: “If we get an early goal there, it will really put the tie in our favour.
“While if they score early on, it can change the tie.
“Always at 2-0, if you make it 3-0 it can make a massive difference, instead of a team being 2-1 behind with their tails up on home turf. They would be dangerous for us
“We go to win the game, but keep that defensive shape we had. At half-time in a game, you would not shut up shop and certainly won’t be doing that at Ferriby.
“We have shown that by playing two up top, we can cause problems in behind them.
“We won’t be going to defend, but to take the game to them.”
On Wednesday night’s consummate win, he added: “It was a pleasing performance and result. But the cliches will come out now and it’s only half a job done. It’s half-time in the tie.
“We have just got to prepare ourselves right and we again have a few bumps and bruises and one or two lads with illnesses they have been carrying for a week or so.
“Let’s hope we can go again on Saturday.
Bower will monitor the fitness of influential defender Danny Ellis, in the wars after picking up several knocks in a typically whole-hearted display in the heart of the back four on Wednesday night.
Steven Drench will also be assessed after Steve Dickinson deputised for him in admirable fashion at Nethermoor after he missed out through illness.
On Ellis, Bower said: “They must do something bad to get him off the pitch!
“But hopefully he will get himself iced up and be ready to go again. Especially with the way Ferriby play, who put balls into the box.”
Bower’s counterpart Billy Heath echoed his thoughts that the tie is still up in the air, although his primary concern is team selection with his options becoming more limited by the game at the end of an exhaustive season.
The ex-Frickley Athletic boss said: “Two-nil is a precarious scoreline – for both teams, it really is.
“The next goal is key. At half-time, we are 2-0 down.
“We have got to pick ourselves up and see what we have got for Saturday.”
“We picked up some more knocks with Liam King having an ankle problem and Ryan Kendall having an ‘egg’ on the side of his foot. Danny Clarke was also in a rare old state with flu. But we were that short of numbers.”