Pendle Forest continue fine start to season with home win over Wakefield

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Pendle Forest made it two wins from two in the Investec Conference North as they beat Wakefield 5-1 at Marsden Heights on Saturday.

Last year’s home match against Wakefield saw Forest 2-0 down, only to come back and win 3-2.

But Saturday was more comfortable for Forest.

Forest were feeling the pressure, but, to their surprise, they took the early lead.

The forwards created a penalty corner, and Lisa Crewe delivered with a low drag flick, putting Forest ahead.

With momentum building, they took their next goal on the break when Steph Bedford guided Charlotte Hartley down the line, Hartley set off at speed and dragged the ball around the keeper and slotted it home.

For a while, Forest were in control, but a lapse in defence saw Wakefield send the ball high to a player, who took on Laura Kendall, went along the back line, and a scramble in front of goal saw the ball cleared, only to find an incoming Wakefield player, who made no mistake, and brought the score back to 2-1.

Into the second half, Forest looked hungry. An excellent interception by Freya Bythell in midfield allowed her to play a quick crossfield ball to Hartley, who took on the defender and slotted the ball in for 3-1.

With frustration creeping into the Wakefield team, a late tackle sent a player to the sidelines for two minutes with a green card, and as the game lost discipline temporarily, Liv Bythell also received a two-minute sideline stint for dissent.

Meanwhile, Forest were still managing to acquire several penalty corners through great stick work by Thea Cormack. Crewe once again found the net, this time with a straight strike, giving Forest a convincing 4-1 lead.

The defensive work rate, led from the front, was very apparent in the second half, and great decision making by Liv Purtil brought crucial tackles and kept Wakefield away from goal, with Kendall only needing to make one diving save in the second half.

In the fourth quarter, a strong block tackle by Freya Bythell was deemed unlawful and saw her sent to the sidelines with a yellow card, also joined by a Wakefield player.

Meanwhile, a well-timed steal by sister Olivia allowed her to send the ball down the line for Hayley Baines, who created an opening with a one-touch deflection on to Steph Bedford.

The initial shot rebounded off the keeper, but Bedford’s quick reactions put Forest 5-1 up, with a reverse stick lift over the keeper.

On Saturday, they face Fylde at home, at 11-30 a.m.