Forest’s march to title continues unabated

Pendle Forest Hockey Club (red) v Lytham Hockey Club at Marsden Heights Community School, Nelson. Olivia Bythell in action. Picture by Paul Heyes, Saturday March 12, 2016.
Pendle Forest Hockey Club (red) v Lytham Hockey Club at Marsden Heights Community School, Nelson. Olivia Bythell in action. Picture by Paul Heyes, Saturday March 12, 2016.
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Pendle Forest’s surge towards another North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West title continues unabated.

Forest claimed an 8-1 win over Leyland and Chorley, to make it 13 wins from 13 games, and extend their lead at the top to 11 points.

Forest set off in confident mood. They commanded play in the first 10 minutes but still felt there was more to give.

A Cathy Waters sweeping strike from the edge of the D put Forest into the lead.

Five minutes later, player of the match Freya Bythell struck the ball across the keeper and found the bottom left corner, after great initial pressure from Karen Wignall.

Bythell continued with some great movement, aided by Charlotte Hartley, passing down the wing, but with crosses not quite converted.

Before half time, in one of their breakaways, Leyland managed to slip through the Forest defence and place the ball just beyond the keeper’s reach for a chip over and into the net.

In the second half, the first penalty corner saw Crewe strike towards goal, for Hartley to deflect the ball past a defender on the line.

Shortly after, a strong penalty corner strike from Lisa Crewe lifted up off a defending stick and found the net.

Intercepting a ball and stepping forward, Dani Hornby’s shot rebounded off the keeper for Freya Bythell to clear up, making it 4-1.

Sister Olivia Bythell then travelled with the ball from halfway and a straight strike found a narrow gap in the bottom right hand corner.

Forest were dominant, but the Leyland keeper made some amazing saves from reverse stick shots by Hartley and Olivia Bythell, while their defence cleared off the line more than once.

But Forest relentlessly pushed on, and work by Olivia Purtill on the right allowed Thea Cormack to squeeze the ball just inside the right post for goal number seven.

Finally using the full width of the pitch, a move involving Crewe, Hartley and Wignall eventually saw Waters’ reverse stick shot emphatically make it 8-1.

Tomorrow Forest are at Formby.