North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division leaders Pendle Forest’s fifth-successive win was virtually done and dusted within the first 10 minutes at Kirkby Stephen on Saturday.
Forest started strongly, dominating possession on a slow pitch, and were soon into their stride when Lisa Crewe gave them the lead with a shot that was deflected past the keeper by a defender’s stick.
Within minutes, Charlotte Hartley doubled the lead, taking the ball round the keeper and flicking it into the net.
Both teams had a couple of short corners, and Laura Kendal in the Forest goal made a couple of comfortable saves.
Crewe flashed a drag flick over the bar, and Forest extended their lead through Hartley with a strike from the edge of the D.
Forest were looking comfortable, and scored again when Hayley Baines crossed from the left, finding Steph Bedford at the back post, who slotted the ball home.
Kirkby Stephen won a short corner before half-time, and scored with a shot that wrong footed Kendall.
After the break, Kirby Steven caught the Forest defence sleeping, as an attacker dribbled past a number of players before shooting at goal.
Kendall saved the initial shot, but the rebound was picked up by the forward, who made the score 4-2.
This shocked Forest into action, and once again they dominated possession and started to create more and more chances.
The midfield continued to be strong, and the fifth goal came. Liv Bythell picked the ball up in middle of the pitch, sending it out to Hartley down the left, who crossed into the D, where Crewe – diving full length – got to the ball first, deflecting it past the keeper.
It was one-way traffic and Hartley’s hat-trick came as she picked the ball up in the right side of the D, dribbling past a couple of defenders and round the keeper to score with a reverse stick shot.
Kirby Stephen had a couple of breakaways, resulting in Kendall making two excellent saves.
Thea Cormack found herself in the sin bin with a green card for a stick tackle, before Freya Bythell extended the lead with a drag flick from a penalty corner.
Forest ‘s final goal was a super move from one end of the pitch to the other. Bedford picked up a ball from defence, moving it along quickly to Baines, who, with one touch, put the ball into Hartley’s run, and she rounded the keeper, and blasted the ball past two defenders on the line to score her fourth.
Forest are four points clear and are at home tomorrow to Alderley Edge.
The first round of the Caley Cup saw Pendle Forest seconds drawn against their third team. Pendle seconds started well, and they opened the scoring eightminutes in, with Karen Wignall linking with Cathy Killgallon, who struck the ball into the bottom corner. The seconds scored again through a similar move, Cath Hutchinson lifting the ball over Jane Lofthouse.
The seconds continued to press, and Wignall converted a rebound from the keeper’s pads. Pendle thirds started the second half well, earning several penalty corners, one of which saw Emma Ziegloser score from a straight strike, deflecting off a defending stick, but the seconds’ fourth goal was scored by Zoe Kidney after fine play from Judith Hind.