Forest’s chance to claim top spot

Pendle Forest's Harriet Ashworth, Thea Cormack and Fraya Bythell
Pendle Forest's Harriet Ashworth, Thea Cormack and Fraya Bythell
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Unbeaten Pendle Forest beat Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday to set up a crucial game at leaders Kirkby Stephen tomorrow.

Halfway through the season, the teams are tied on points at the top of the North Hockey Women’s League Division Two, with Forest knowing a win tomorrow will take them to the summit.

On Saturday, Forest were up against a very young side from Kirkby Lonsdale, and thought it would be a good day to use their experience.

Hayley Baines again provided the visiting defence with some baffling stickwork and found the top right hand corner of the net with an amazing reverse stick strike.

But following the goal, Forest became complacent and started to let Kirkby Lonsdale back into the game.

The second half saw Sarah Towers and Fiona Head switching the ball across the pitch, as well as solid play from Kayleigh McKane which only allowed Kirkby Lonsdale with one penalty corner, with the keeper under minimal pressure.

The visitors showed some good individual stickwork, and defensively they blocked well, as the hard work from the Forest attackers, player of the match Karen Nuttall, and Baines, came to nothing.

The score remained 1-0 as Forest earned a seventh win from nine games.

The seconds beat Longridge 5-1, with Millie Stansfield and Sally Evans scoring two each, with Olivia Bythell also on target.

Forest’s third string beat Lancaster and Morcambe 2-1 to leapfrog their opponents in the table. Forest’s opening goal came when Zoe Zieglser crossed to Claire Birkett, who scored at the second attempt after the keeper’s initial block.

In the second half, Forest earned a penalty corner. Skipper Dee McInnes hit out to Cath Hutchinson, who slipped left for Michelle Smith to strike first time into the bottom corner.

Morecambe pulled one back from a penalty flick, but Forest held on to win.

The over 35s veterans’ team were in action on Sunday against Chester in their second match in the All-England Cup knockout, bowing out 5-2.

Forest were 2-0 down at half-time, with Kathy Waters seeing a penalty flick saved.

Judith Hind skipped through to make it 2-1, but a penalty corner restored the two-goal advantage, before Chester added a fourth.

Janet Mitchell Stanworth, tucked away a second for Forest, but in the search for goals, Chester scored again.