Bedford at the double as Pendle Forest win opening game

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Pendle Forest Hockey Club started their first campaign in the Investec Conference North in style with a 2-1 win at Beeston seconds.

After three-successive promotions, Forest made the trip to Nottingham on Saturday, and they came away with all three points on their debut at this level.

Forest went ahead through Steph Bedford after 19 minutes, and though Beeston equalised from a penalty corner via Sarah Wain just after the half hour, Bedford struck again seven minutes later to restore the lead, again from a penalty corner.

That proved to be the winning goal, and Forest will look to build on that opening day success on Saturday when they host their first home game.

Wakefield Ladies firsts are the visitors to Marsden Heights Community College, start time 11-30 a.m.

Forest are again at home a week on Saturday, when Fylde are the visitors, again at 11-30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Pendle Forest thirds played a very organised Southport in their second competative match of the season.

Pendle started well, with early chances in front of goal for Debs Batley and Rachel Bradley, after great through balls from Robynne Plant in midfield.

Southport, however, were up to the challenge, and it was Pendle who were on the back foot.

Despite good defending from the Pendle back line, led ably by Becky Bell, Southport took the lead after some fine passing, and also scored a penalty flick, putting them 2-0 up.

Pendle rallied well and earned a penalty corner.

Emily Dunleavy hit out to Bell, who fired home via the keeper’s pads, however, the goal was disallowed after being deemed too high.

Despite good pass and move work by Pendle, they couldn’t break down Southport, who scored another two prior to the half-time whistle.

It could have been more than 4-0 to Southport but for fine keeping hy the ever-agile Jane Lofthouse.

Clare Woodcock, stand in manager, gave a positive, constructive team talk at half-time, and Pendle responded well on the restart.

Lois Page controlled well down the right and linked well with Plant.

They earned a penalty corner, and this time the Dunleavy/Bell combination created a goal that stood.

At 4-1, there was end to end play, with Pendle moving as a unit both up and down and sideways across the pitch.

Southport came back at Pendle and scored another three unstoppable goals.

Rosie Southworth in midfield for Pendle then went on a solo run and earned a penalty corner. Dunleavy hit out to Southworth, who blasted a rocket past the stranded keeper, bringing the score to 7-2.

Prior to the final whistle, Southport added an eighth, leaving Pendle defeated but not deflated.

Players of the match were Robynne Plant and Hannah Tofalos.