Pendle Forest cruise into semi-finals

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PENDLE Forest’s veterans’ team have reached the semi-finals of the All-England Cup, after beating Wakefield.

From the off Forest outskilled and outran the travelling team.

Cathy Waters, on the right of midfield, commanded her side of the pitch and linked well with Rachael Black in the centre and Karen Nuttall at right forward.

The first goal came when Waters powered down the right and squared a ball across the D. Dee McInnes on the left had pressed forward, and swept the speeding ball goalwards first time, finding the bottom left hand corner.

Forest were straight back on the attack and earned themselves a number of penalty corners. Judith Hind hit out to Waters, who struck first time to find the bottom left hand corner for Forest’s second goal.

Wakefield’s opportunities in attack were few and far between, and with great defending from Sarah Towers, Janet Mitchell Stanworth and Jan Cormack, they never really looked like penetrating Forest’s back line.

Forest’s third goal was a result of a Towers hit out to Waters, who in turn passed to Nuttall, who ran into the right of the D, where she squared to McInnes, who was once again on the left post to sweep in from close range. It remained 3-0 until half-time.

Forest were determined not to let their lead slip as they had done in previous rounds, and made good use of their substitutions to ensure they stayed sharp and disciplined.

Lesley Davey became instrumental at centre back and spread strong balls out to Fiona Head at left back.

Head herself pushed up field, and through strong, determined play, found Black in the centre, who in turn sent the ball forward to Cath Hutchinson in the D. Hutchinson passed to Hind, who sneaked a goal in through the keeper’s legs.

It was similar play that saw Hind net another in quick succession, leaving Wakefield somewhat shell shocked with the score at 5-0.

By now Forest were confident of a win and the whole team moved up field and gave Davey a run out up front. Precise passing from defence to midfield then on to Nuttall up front saw her fire one in from close range to make it 6-0.

Wakefield were always searching for a consolation goal, and their determination paid off when the ball hit Towers’ foot in front of goal.

A penalty flick was awarded and it was well converted by their striker. With just a couple of minutes to go Forest had taken their foot off the gas and Wakefield grabbed themselves a second prior to the final whistle to make the final score 6-2.

The next round is to be played on March 24th.

Forest’s first team went down 6-1 at home to second-place Lancaster, who piled on the pressure straight from the whistle, leaving the locals 3-0 down in the first 12 minutes.

Their first two goals were scored in open play and the third was a penalty corner strike.

Forest started the uphill battle and had to act fast making several switches, which resulted in Cathy Waters taking a clean strike from a penalty corner and finding the back of the net.

In the second half, there were further sparks of attacking play from Dani Atherton and Hayley Baines, but Lancaster have the best defence in the league and closed down Forest’s players individually.

Lancaster showed good athletic ability and timing on the ball, and although Forest put up a firm defensive play, with Laura Kendal having to make several great saves, Lancaster managed to find the gaps and were goal hungry, scoring two more goals in open play, and being awarded a controversial penalty flick, which they also converted, leaving the final score 6-1.

Pendle Forest now have two must-win matches against fellow strugglers Preston this weekend.

Forest’s third team never really got out of the blocks in their home match against Morecambe on Saturday.

Morecambe out ran and out passed a struggling Forest, who didn’t get the rub of the green at all.

There was good individual work by the youngsters in the team, including Abbie Hunter at right midfield and Katie Goodwill at right defender. However, Morecambe were too strong and it was no surprise that they beat Forest 3-0.

The score line would of been much more but for heroic goalkeeping from Debs Lancaster.

Meanwhile, Pendle Forest’s junior squad have earned county success recently. Pictured, from left, are Freya Bythell, Harriet Ashworth, Thea Cormack and Zoe Kidney (s), who all represent Pendle Forest Under 13s. They were part of the Lancashire Under 12s’ development group, who, last weekend, were involved in a tournament at Altrincham Grammar School where they played three games - winning one, drawing one and losing one. They are also playing for the same team March 25th.