A slow start from Forest meant that they were put under early pressure from Harrogate.
Fortunately Forest managed to soak up the pressure and were soon competing on an even keel until captain Cathy Waters found herself sinbinned for strongly questioning a decision from the umpire.
But Forest remained disciplined and didn’t allow Harrogate to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
On Waters’ return, Harrogate were stunned when a good move starting from the back with Jan Cormack, continued with Hayley Baines carrying the ball up the pitch and passing the ball into the D for Waters to find the back of the net for Forest to lead at half-time.
After the break Forest found themselves hemmed in at the back and Harrogate had good possession, having several shots saved by player of the match Kat Gorman.
Eventually Harrogate found the equaliser, splitting the Forest defence.
Forest held on to draw and are away against Wakefield tomorrow.
Forest thirds travelled to Southport for a mid-table clash. From the off Forest struggled to get into the game and let Southport play, giving them too much time on the ball.
It was no surprise when Southport opened the scoring, although Debs Lancaster in goal was unlucky as she got a foot to it, however the ball was travelling with such force that it deflected into the net.
Forest never really settled despite some good work in midfield by Julie Portman. Forest spent most of the half defending, and but for fantastic work from Judy Bentham playing as sweeper, Southport would of had a hat full.
Forest had a couple of opportunities to score, most notably from Denise Tuck who picked up a long ball from defence and ran at the Southport keeper. Tuck dribbled into the D but then made an untimely slip on a poor playing surface and saw the ball run away from her.
Mandy Isherwood made a guest appearance up front for Forest and used some great stick skills but Southport’s defenders read Forest’s game well and snuffed out any breaks.
Southport scored again prior to half-time giving them a 2-0 lead at the break.
An inspiring team talk from Tuck saw Forest come out battling in the second half, and for the first 20 minutes Forest played their usual passing game and were unlucky not to benefit from swift two-touch hockey.
Southport then scored again somewhat against the run of play making it 3-0. By now Southport’s confidence was soaring and they threw everything they had at Forest. Despite valiant defending from player of the match Bentham, Mags Robinson and Tiyra Slaam, Southport scored their fourth goal from a penalty corner.
Pendle Forest Veterans’ team were in action on Sunday in the All England Plate competition.
The appalling weather didn’t dampen Forest’s spirits, who were well motivated for their clash with Doncaster at Marsden Heights.
Forest started brightly and their precision passing had Doncaster chasing the game from the off. Rachael Black in the centre of midfield for Forest out shone her counterpart and repeatedly distributed accurate passes to both wings to see Forest on the attack.
Forest’s opening goal came from great play by their defence who linked well with Cathy Waters at right midfield, Waters powered her way forward and slipped the ball right to Karen Nuttall, who then ran from the 25 metre line and into the D where she struck the ball across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner.
Forest continued to dominate with Judith Hind and Cath Hutchinson linking well to create space for Forest’s midfield. Once in the D, Hind created all sorts of problems for the Doncaster defenders with her fast, close stick and ball skills and she was unlucky not to score. Forest were awarded a penalty corner for a foot foul in the D and they made the most of it. Sweeper Janet Mitchell-Stanworth moved up to receive the ball from a hit out by Hind, controlled the ball and struck it with force to hit the back board.
Forest began the second half sluggishly and Doncaster pulled a goal back from a penalty corner. Doncaster then levelled when the ball struck Dee McInnes’ foot in front of an open goal, giving them a penalty flick.
Forest were not going to be beaten and a rousing team talk from Sarah Towers saw the home team dominate the field. Forest were denied by the visiting keeper on a number of occasions, but with time running out, the ball landed to Hutchinson, who neatly turned and slipped the ball home from close range. It was a well deserved 3-2 win for Forest who now go in the draw for the next round.