Pendle Forest suffer narrow defeat

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PENDLE Forest suffered a narrow defeat at Wakefield on Saturday, losing 1-0.

Without a number of their normal starting line up, Forest expected a tough game against a young, physical side.

Forest found themselves on the back foot from the start as the team struggled to settle down into their different playing positions.

They had an early scare when Wakefield played some nice hockey and got the ball past Laura Kendall in the Forest goal, only for a Wakefield forward to kick the ball in on the line.

This rejuvenated Forest and they managed to gain some control of the game when captain Cathy Waters moved into central midfield.

Wakefield did remain on top and should have had their first goal midway through the first half, but the umpire had already blown for an infringement.

Wakefield finally went ahead after a misplaced pass from the Forest defence was intercepted by a forward and, after a good save by Kendall, Wakefield put the ball in the back of the net.

The second half followed the same format as the first half with Wakefield having much of the possession.

Sarah Towers, playing in the sweeper role, had a fantastic game and managed to snuff out most of the dangers that the Wakefield forward line posed.

Kendall also made some fantastic saves to keep the score at 1-0.

With Forest tiring the game became scrappy and Dani Atherton was green carded for a poor stick tackle.

Forest did manage a period of pressure in the attacking third but it didn’t amount to anything as they went down 1-0.

Pendle Forest second team travelled to Lancaster to play them in the cup knockout contest.

Lancaster were positioned at the top of the Premier Division, a division above Forest.

The locals never really got into top gear but nevertheless play was end to end, with chances for both sides.

Great work down the right by Millie Stansfield caused problems for Lancaster, who gave away a penalty corner within the first 10 minutes.

Janet Mitchell Stanworth moved up from her role as sweeper to receive the ball from Judith Hind, who fired the ball out. Mitchell Stanworth struck the ball well ,giving the Lancaster keeper no chance of stopping it.

After Forest scored, Lancaster pushed on and played fast, physical hockey as they searched for an equaliser.

Olivia Purtill playing on the left of defence, did a sterling job on her older, stronger, opponent as she repeatedly made well-timed tackles to get Forest out of danger.

There was great work too from Mitchell Stanworth at the back, who cleared the ball confidently up the field to begin a Forest attack.

Lancaster did score when they were awarded a penalty corner, and this seemed to rock Forest, who seemed to then sit back and let Lancaster play.

Lancaster easily intercepted sloppy passes by Forest and sneaked a second goal prior to half-time.

Forest came out battling in the second half determined to play their usual swift passing game.

Natalie Mitchell and Alison DeCurtis in midfield linked well and spread the ball right for Millie Stansfield and Mawgan Naylor to press forward.

Stansfield repeatedly out ran the Lancaster defenders and played great balls into the D for Hind to collect.

Lancaster were clearly aware of Hind’s skilful play and they ensured she had no room to manoeuvre in front of goal. Hind, however, who has vast hockey experience, was always going to get something, and she won a number of penalty corners. Unfortunately Forest didn’t convert any of them.

Lancaster then scored again to make it 3-1.

Forest kept pushing forward and were rewarded yet another penalty corner. Hind hit out to Mitchell Stanworth, who hit a rocket into the bottom corner.

At 3-2 Forest felt they could find themselves an equaliser, but pressing forward left gaps in midfield and Lancaster themselves were once again on the attack. Despite more solid defending from Purtill, Lancaster scored a fourth goal from another penalty corner.

Forest did have chances towards the end of the game, and when Dee McInnes intercepted a Lancaster pass in defence. she ran into the D and had only the keeper to beat. McInnes tried to go round the keeper, but she was quickly out of her goal and slid in feet first to take out the ball and the player.

A penalty corner was awarded, but again they failed to score. Despite the 4-2 final score, Pendle could be proud of themselves having played against the Premier League high flyers.

Olivia Purtill was named player of the match.