Steve Drench is the number one favourite for Guiseley manager Mark Bower.

The goalkeeper demonstrated his importance to the Lions’ late surge up the Skrill North table with a crucial penalty save in Saturday’s 1-0 win over North Ferriby.

The victory extended the Nethermoor club’s unbeaten run to eight games and Drench came in for special praise.

“It was a fantastic save from Drenchy,” enthused Bower.

“I have never in all my time in football been at a club where we had so much faith in our keeper saving a penalty.

“He has a great record with penalties, but his all-round qualities make him an important member of our team.

“In addition to his penalty save he also came and collected high balls and commanded his area.”

He added: “Drenchy has played in winning teams for much of his time at Guiseley so he hasn’t always got the credit he deserves.”

Guiseley, who won 3-2 at Stalybridge Celtic last night to climb into sixth place as they extended their unbeaten run to nine games, face challenges from teams at opposite ends of the Skrill North spectrum in the coming week.

They travel to second-bottom Oxford City on Saturday before taking on the new leaders Telford United at Nethermoor on Tuesday night.

Bower is keen to stress the importance of both matches to his team.

He said: “We need to maintain our momentum and the way to do that is to treat every game as important.

“This is a very competitive league this season and you can take nothing for granted.

“Tuesday night’s results illustrate the point. People have been writing off bottom team Workington for weeks and yet they held North Ferriby to a 3-3 draw.”

One of the things Bower has put a strong emphasis on is avoiding stupid bookings and giving away cheap free kicks.

“We have encouraged our defenders to stay on their feet rather than diving in with the sort of challenge which earns the opposition a free kick and a chance to create danger.

“We have also cut down on cautions for back chat and all these things help because suspensions can be costly.

“Obviously you will get sendings off like Ben Parker’s on Saturday but it was one I could accept,” Bower said.