Both Olivias – Purtill and Bythell – combined to earn Pendle Forest a deserved point against closest rivals Clitherioe on Sunday to leave them six points clear with six games to play.
The previous day saw Forest see off third-place Springfields seconds 3-0, to start a testing weekend.
Against Springfields, Forest were ahead within five minutes through Deb Bythell’s strike from a penalty corner.
Forest continued to penetrate the Springs defence, narrowly missing a couple of times.
The momentum continued with the arrival of Freya Bythell and debutant Thea Cormack, who both helped drive the ball down the right.
Just before the break a green card was shown to Rebecca Whitham for a late tackle but Forest were still on top.
Forest gained more possession in the second half using their width well, and a straight strike from Fiona Head made it 2-0, before a final effort from Head allowed Karen Wignall the opportunity to make it 3-0.
Then against Clitheroe, Forest dominated the first half.
But they were unable to take advantage of several penalty corners early on, and Clitheroe’s counter attacks always looked threatening.
After the break, Clitheroe converted a penalty corner, and within two minutes they found the net again from another short corner.
Olivia Bythell hit the post, before a short corner was slipped past the keeper by Olivia Purtill.
A fired-up Forest took command of the game, and with Clitheroe losing two players to the sin-bin, persistent pressure led to a shot from Kayleigh Vickers being stopped on the line by a defender’s body and Olivia Bythell equalised with the penalty flick to earn a point.
Forest take on Lytham tomorrow.