HOCKEY: Pendle Forest battle to avoid the drop

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Pendle Forest are a win away from avoiding the drop from the North Women’s Hockey League First Division.

A win and a defeat over the weekend means victory in any of their remaining three games will secure safety.

The side were at Leeds University on Saturday, and confidence was high after gaining seven points from the last nine, but they always knew it was going to be tough against a team that was second in the table going into the match.

Leeds controlled the game from the start and had Forest on the back foot throughout the game.

They scored from a nice team move in the first half to leave the score 1-0 at half-time.

The second half was much the same with player of the match Jan Cormack (pictured) being instrumental in defence and ensuring the score line stayed down, though Leeds scored another two goals to go 3-0 up.

Forest had the chance to pull one back when Karen Wignall worked hard in attack to earn a penalty stroke, but it was not to be as Judith Hind saw her effort go wide of the post.

The following day saw their second match of the weekend in a rearranged fixture against Deesie Ramblers.

Forest started slowly and allowed Deeside to control the game and have a few chances.

Forest made a couple of substitutions, with Olivia Bythell and Jen Hobson taking to the field, and this revitalised Forest as they woke up and started to pass the ball around.

The game was end to end, with both teams having possession in the final third of the pitch, but Forest had the better of the chances and just before half-time Hind saw a shot across goal just miss at the back post.

Forest dominated the second half and created plenty of chances, with Hayley Baines running the line in attack and creating space and opportunities for herself.

Forest saw several chances saved by the keeper before player of the match Hobson converted a short corner to put them 1-0 up.

Deeside started to tire and Forest controlled the game although Cormack found herself on the wrong end of a high ball and had to leave the field with a split chin.

Forest saw out the rest of the game easily to secure another three points.

Forest play Broom at home tomorrow.

Pendle Forest third team entertained a physical Lancaster Nomads team in a match that promised to be tough.

In an even first half Lancaster Nomads scored to make it 1-0 at half-time.

Forest equalised in the second half when player of the match Olivia Purtill started a flowing move passing the ball to Katie Hobson, who found Denise Tuck, who slotted the ball home.

A controversial decision allowed Nomads to take all three points when they scored from a short corner.

Forest put up a good fight and were unlucky to lose 2-1.