STEVEN Drench saved a penalty and kept a clean sheet for Bradford Park Avenue last Saturday and his manager Mark Bower felt that it was just reward for his recent hard work.

Bower said: “He commanded his box very well and it was a good all-round performance. He’s probably deserved a clean sheet sooner than he has in the last few weeks, so I’m pleased for him to get one.

“A penalty save is always nice as well for a keeper.”

At the other end of the pitch, striker Adam Boyes scored Avenue’s only goal and Bower expressed satisfaction that the team’s recent striking woes could soon be over.

He said: “We’ve been a bit short with Boyes not being available and fully fit for a couple games. Obviously with OJ (Oli Johnson) suspended, that’s a lot of goals missing from the team.

“Frank (Mulhern) has come in and got some crucial goals for us so we’ve had options up there. It will be good to have OJ back though for the last few games to allow us to play with a bit more width.”

Bower surprised many observers with his team selection and formation at the weekend but he confessed that injuries had forced his hand somewhat.

He said: “We played three centre backs and two wing backs. It’s not a formation that I’m particularly fond of.”

“We just felt that with the injuries that we’ve got, it was about getting our strongest eleven out in a formation where players weren’t out of position.

“We’d given bad goals away in the Easter games too so that extra defender just made us a bit more solid.”

Avenue travel to mid-table rivals Boston on Saturday and Bower was keen not to dwell too much on his side’s likely failure to gain promotion from the Vanarama National League North.

He said: “We’re disappointed having been in the play-offs at the turn of the year but even so, a top half finish would represent a very good season for us given the resources that we’re working with.”