Forest cement top spot with win over Liverpool

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Pendle Forest maintained top spot in North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West with a sixth win in as many games against Liverpool University.

The young Liverpool team had the slight edge in the first half, but were unable to capitalise on their chances.

After the break, Forest started to make their mark on the game, and a series of penalty corners finally led to a Cathy Waters strike putting the locals in the lead.

Liverpool seemed to lose their motivation, allowing Forest to dominate the game.

Forest had several chances to add to their lead, with Olivia Purtill forcing their keeper into a good save at the back post, and Deb Bythell almost lobbed the keeper at a penalty corner.

Good work by the forwards and midfield eventually paid off when, attacking as a unit, player of the match Olivia Bythell slipping the ball beyond the keeper for Sam Parker to finish.

Forest are at home to Lancaster seconds tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Forest thirds bounced back from three unlucky defeats with a comprehensive win against Preston thirds.

Old hand Cath Hutchinson opened the scoring when a threaded ball from midfield was slipped past the keeper.

With the bit between her teeth, Hutchinson hassled the Preston defence,and when she picked up a ball on the edge of the D from Freya Bythell, she skilfully controlled it until she planted her reverse stick shot into the bottom left hand corner.

Forest’s third came from Deborah Batley, who poked a rebound over the line for her first goal for Forest.

And it was no more than she deserved when Bythell herself struck well from the edge of the D to score her first senior goal.

In the second half, Hutchinson again who started the scoring when she linked well with Bythell to slot past the keeper for her hat trick.

Bythell then linked with Harriet Ashworth before firing a rocket into the bottom right hand corner.

Claire Birkett laid on a square pass for Batley to converted for her second, followed by another Bythell belter for her hat-trick.

Kidney created the eighth for Batley for her treble, with Hutchinson nicking a fourth to make it 10-0 to Forest, before Bythell crossed unselfishly for Lucy Holt to hammer home her first goal.

Player of the match was Emily Dunleavy who had a faultless match.