Forest run riot to extend unbeaten start to season

Pendle Forest Charlotte O'Brien.
Pendle Forest Charlotte O'Brien.

Ruthless Pendle Forest beat Wigton 8-1 on Saturday to make it eight wins from eight in North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West.

Cathy Waters bagged four goals, with Charlotte O’Brien adding two, and Olivia Bythell and Karen Nuttall one each.

All the early play was with Forest, but it was 15 mins until they finally managed to make the breakthrough, Waters finding the narrowest of gaps, with a sweet strike between the keeper and the post.

This was shortly followed with a lift from Bythell reaching the far post for Waters to control the ball over the line.

The third was a strong sweeping shot from O’Brien, giving the keeper no chance as Forest went in 3-0 up at half-time.

Shortly after the break Rebecca Whitham put a long ball through to Waters, who struck the ball cleanly from the top of the D, finding the bottom left corner.

O’Brien added her second, then, seeing an opportunity, Wigton managed to filter through the Forest defence and penetrate the goal, making the score 5-1.

Further goals were scored with a solo effort from Bythell; player of the match Waters then bagged a fourth, and Nuttall made it a final score of 8-1 to keep Forest top of the table.

It was more of the same from Forest’s third string when they travelled to meet a youthful Southport team.

Within two minutes Forest had their first goal from seasoned striker Cath Hutchinson, who picked up a neat pass from Claire Birkett to slot through the keeper’s legs.

Birkett netted the second after slick work from Harriet Ashworth and Freya Bythell, and Forest soon added a third when Bythell laid on a square ball for Zoe Kidney to latch on to at the top of the D, and beat the stranded keeper.

Debs Batley made it 4-0, before Ashworth beat three defenders to slip the ball through for Bythell to strike at goal. The shot was saved but Birkett tucked in the rebound.

In the second half, debutant Niamh Mullany linked well with Kidney and created a chance for Hutchinson to score a second, before Birkett nicked her hat-trick.

Emily Dunleavey created the eighth for Bythell, and then Kidney found the roof of the net for the goal of the game.

Mullany also got on the scoresheet, and Thea McCormack with her first senior goal and this was followed by Batley’s second, before player of the match Bythell completed the scoring, as she cut through the defence with ease.

Pendle Forest’s veterans team beat Sale 7-2 in the first round of the All England Cup on Sunday, with Cathy Waters again scoring four goals.

From the off Forest looked sharp, and Diane McInnes picked up a pass from Karen Wignall from the push off, which was lifted through to Cath Hutchinson, who threaded a sweet ball through to Cathy Waters, who tucked the ball away to score.

Waters was on target again when Fiona Head blasted out a penalty corner to Waters, who slammed the ball over the line from distance.

And after 22 minutes, Waters got her hat trick after great passing from Fiona Head and Deb Bythell in midfield.

At this point Forest became complacent and allowed Sale back into the game, pulling back two goals to make it 3-2 at half-time.

Within three minutes of the second half, Forest were back to a two-goal advantage after great passing saw Hutchinson scamper into the D and find the bottom corner.

Sale then held firm for 20 minutes until Deb Bythell slotted home after a well-worked attack involving Head and Waters. Karen Wignall then picked up a Waters rebound off the keeper’s pads to nudge over the line for 6-2, and Forest’s final goal came from a penalty corner, as Head fired out to Waters, who rocketed a peach into the bottom corner.