Pendle Forest went five points clear at the top of North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West with a 3-1 win at home to Lancaster seconds on Saturday.
Lancaster brought a youthful side to Pendle and, with a depleted side, Forest had to use their experience.
They started with good solid play, keeping the ball in the opposition’s 25 metre area for long spells. Forest injected some youth of their own, handing a first team debut to Freya Bythell, who slotted in nicely to help in attack.
But, against the run of play, Lancaster, in only their second breakaway of the half, wrong footed the defence, resulting in them going ahead.
Forest started the second half quickly, and within 30 seconds Olivia Purtill tucked the ball into the bottom left corner, connecting perfectly with a cross from the right.
Within five minutes Forest made it 2-1, with Purtill getting on the end of another cross, and Purtill had numerous chances to grab her hat-trick but was thwarted, while chances also fell to Sally Evans and Charlotte O’Brien, with the latter putting one effort over the bar.
Forest finally made it 3-1 with a perfectly placed lift at goal from Deb Bythell.
Forest are at bottom side Wigton tomorrow.
The seconds beat Clitheroe 4-0 to progress to the cup quarter-final, with Judith HInd, Janet Mitchell-Stanworth, Kayleigh Vickers and Emma Ziegloser scoring.
Forest’s third team made it a full house when they beat Leyland and Chorley in the plate knockout first round.
Zoe Kidney opened the scoring from close range with her first senior team goal, before Cath Hutchinson jinked her way through to score a neat reverse stick goal.
In the second half, Diane McInnes hammered out a penalty corner to Freya Bythell, and she struck sweetly into the left corner to make it 3-0.
Claire Birkett’s selfless work in the D paid off when she picked up a Bythell cross to slip the ball through the keeper’s legs for 4-0.
Shortly after Leyland pulled one back, but Deborah Batley made no mistake from close range to make it 5-1, and Hutchinson notched up Forest’s sixth when she swept a moving ball in. Batley added a seventh from a ball from Sally Ralphson, before McInnes rounded things off from a penalty corner.
The club would like to thank Judy Bentham and family for kindly sponsoring the third team’s new shirts.