Pendle Forest made a great start to life in North Hockey Women’s League Division 1 with a 3-1 win at home to Chester.
Despite a nervy start, a strong team effort fought to keep the ball out of defence as player of the match Olivia Bythell in midfield made important tackles to enable Forest to push forward and begin to dominate play.
Hayley Baines blazed over the crossbar before Lisa Crewe was brought down by a defender outside the D, winning a penalty corner.
Crewe switched to the left, sending in a hard, flat ball for skipper Dani Hornby to deflect the ball the keeper.
In the second half, Forest pushed forward, and their fitness helped them to continue to control the game.
Crewe managed to cross the ball in from the left at speed, with a delightful reverse sweep past the keeper from Freya Bythell.
Crewe forced a good save from the keeper when one on one, and Thea Cormack also found herself unmarked twice in the D, but the Chester goalkeeper was in fine form.
Forest were made to pay when Chester won their first penalty and pulled one out.
The third goal, sealing the match, came when Baines took a shot, then managed to cross the rebound to Karen Wignall, who received the ball facing away from goal and turned and slotted the ball into the far corner.
On Saturday, Forest host Ben Rhydding, at 11-30 a.m. at Marsden Heights.
Pendle Forest seconds beat Garstang 1-0 with Charlotte O’Brien’s perfectly-placed volley finding Zoey Kidney, who hit the back of the net. The seconds are at Lancaster on Saturday.
The thirds lost 4-3 at Lytham with Emma Ziegloser, Amy Greenwood and Rosie Southworth on target. The third team are at home to Fylde at 1-15 p.m. on Saturday.