Pendle Forest thirds suffered a 1-0 defeat on Saturday as they travelled to Edge Hill University to face Southport on their new pitch.
From the off Southport had the advantage with the newness of the green causing the ball to lift and bobble, which Forest weren’t used to.
Within the first five minutes Southport put the ball in the back of the net, much to the frustration of Forest as the scorer blatantly kicked the ball.
However, it seemed that Southport had an attack of guilt and owned up to the foul so the goal didn’t stand.
Forest passed well as a team in parts, but despite making all the right moves, the pitch beat them, with the ball bouncing over sticks time after time.
The bobbling ball caused mayhem in the D, and resulted in Southport being awarded a number of penalty corners.
With good, and sometimes, desperate defending from Forest, Southport failed to capitalise.
Forest did have chances with the speed of Amy Trickett on the right, and good linking between Claire Birkett and Emma Ziegloser up front, but despite their best efforts, neither Birkett or Ziegloser could find a way through the solid Southport back line to get a shot on target.
Southport’s youth and fitness shone through to give them their first goal, and there were no arguments from Forest this time as the shot from the top of the D sailed through the air to give the Forest keeper no chance.
Stand-in manager Doug Parker changed things at half-time by changing the defensive line and putting more power and speed in midfield.
Paula Markham had a much stronger second half and repeatedly cut out the attacks from Southport’s right forward.
Forest were the stronger team in the half, and forced saves from the Southport keeper.
In the last 10 minutes it was all Forest, with one and two touch hockey.
Forest thought they had equalised when a straight ball from Ziegloser was met by Dee McInnes, but the deflection took the ball inches wide of the left post.
Forest’s strongest attack came in the last minute with Cath Hutchinson and Ziegloser ploughing their way through midfield and into the D.
Despite their good work, a number of rugby-worthy tackles in the D denied a shot at goal, and with no penalty corner forthcoming, Forest had to suck up a 1-0 defeat.
Forest’s first team were without a game, but they return to action tomorrow at home to University of Liverpool Women’s first team.
The seconds lost 3-2 at home to Fulwood Ladies, and face a trip to face Blackpool Ladies seconds today (Saturday).