Pendle Forest picked up two more victories at the weekend to extend their 100% record in the North Hockey Women’s League Division 1.
Forest lead the table by six points after winning 3-0 at Chester on Saturday, before a 4-1 win over bottom side Didsbury Greys at Marsden Heights Community College on Sunday.
Having already played and beaten Chester at home, Forest knew that they had some good individual players and were capable of deflecting the ball in front of goal.
Forest started strongly and fed the forwards down the wings, putting the Chester goalkeeper under pressure in the early stages.
Having been awarded with a penalty corner, Lisa Crewe had plenty of time and placed her deceptive shot perfectly.
The Chester defence were managing to diffuse several of the Forest attacks, but a second penalty corner saw Crewe again with the deceptive strike, which was quickly pounced upon by player of the match Charlotte Hartley, who managed to deflect the raised ball in at the right post.
Chester attacked in patches but Forest got back in numbers, and the defensive unit,backed up by Laura Kendal in goal, dealt cleanly with balls fired in at speed.
Back at the business end, after a lovely forward passing move involving midfield, Hartley dragged the ball to the right and struck it past the the keeper to put Forest 3-0 up at the break.
The game was more stretched in the second half and chances were few and far between.
It became a more physical game, and Freya Bythell was green carded for not moving away five metres quick enough at a free hit, closely followed Olivia Bythell, who, while trying to shield the ball, found herself carded for aggressive body movement.
Down to nine, Forest closed ranks for the duration of the penalties, and after two minutes, resumed normal progress.
The defence held firm, and although there were no further goals, Forest came away with another win.
Then on Sunday, Forest completed another convincing victory, beating bottom of the table Didsbury Greys 4-1.
Karen Wignall put Forest ahead, before Thea Cormack made it two from a penalty corner.
Hartley added a third goal, and Steph Bedford put the result beyond doubt, again from a penalty corner.
Hartley, the division’s top-scorer, now has 14 goals for the season, ahead of teammate Lisa Crewe with eight.
Forest sign off for 2017 with a home game against York at 11-30 a.m. today.