Forest extend flying start to the season

Action from Pendle Forest's win over Morpeth

Pendle Forest claimed a sixth win from six games to maintain their flying start at the top of North Hockey Women’s League Division 1.

And Saturday’s 6-0 win over Morpeth at Marsden Heights means the side have now gone unbeaten in their last 58 regular season games, going back to 2014/15.

On Saturday, with confidence soaring, Forest set off with a spring in their step.

After concentrated pressure, nine minutes in, Olivia Bythell struck the ball at goal, and it flew up off a defensive stick, allowing Charlotte Hartley to directly bat the ball into the goal with a controlled downward movement.

Nine minutes later and Hartley struck again when linking up with a deceptive pass from Lisa Crewe, as she easily deflected it inside the right post for a 2-0 lead.

Just before half-time, Crewe was ushered to play on after an infringement, and taking a sweet strike from the top of the D, she edged Forest ahead by three goals before the whistle.

Although Forest were well in control, after the break Morpeth came out strong, upsetting the balance.

They forced the Forest defence to scramble, with keeper Jane Kirkpatrick making a great save, then Sam Parker sprang into action to clear a lifted shot off the line.

Shortly after, another stop by Kirkpatrick found Parker once again clearing the lines, with Forest just managing to weather the storm.

Back at the business end, Forest earned a penalty corner, and Crewe converted with a top left drag flick.

After hitting the crossbar moments before, Crewe sent a ball into the D again from a long corner, and Karen Wignall managed to get a glancing touch to make it 5-0.

Plenty of tidying up all over the pitch earned Freya Bythell the player of the match award, and this was clinched when she burst through the centre of the pitch and then drove forward, squaring the ball for Hayley Baines to seal the 6-0 win for Forest.

On Saturday, Forest play away against Brooklands Poynton seconds, who are third in the table, five points behind Forest, having won four of their six games so far this season.

Ben Rhydding Ladies seconds sit in between the two, three points adrift of Forest.

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