Lisa Crewe hit a hat-trick as Pendle Forest closed in on the North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West title with a 3-1 win at University of Liverpool on Saturday.
Forest started slowly, and Liverpool took advantage with a tap in at the far post, when the Pendle defence allowed them too much space.
Weak tackling by Forest let Liverpool into the game for a spell, and although Forest managed to force the ball into the attacking zone, a packed Liverpool defence made it difficult to break through.
Fighting back, Forest’s pressure rewarded them with an equaliser when Crewe slotted the ball in from a penalty corner.
Towards half-time, Forest edged ahead with Crewe finding the top right corner in open play.
At the other end, keeper Laura Kendall made a superb instinctive reaction save to keep Forest ahead at half-time.
After the break they were still struggling with the formation play from Liverpoo,l but a switch in the Forest team opened up the defence and put Forest on top once more.
Solid defensive work from player of the match Fiona Head and Kayleigh McKane down the flanks kept Liverpool at bay, while Olivia Bythell, working hard in midfield, was being atttacked from all angles, finally resulting in her being taken out by the keeper.
This resulted in a late penalty corner, and and Crewe found the top left of the netting with a drag flick, completing her hat-trick.
The first team, 10 points clear at the top, play second placed Garstang at home tomorrow at 11-30 a.m.
The second team beat Southport 3-0 with goals from Hayley Baines, Natalie Mitchell and Freya Bythell.