It was unlucky 13 for Pendle Forest as the North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West leaders dropped their first points on Saturday.
After starting the season with 12 straight wins, Forest’s unbeaten record was ended, but they remain 10 points clear at the top.
Forest got off to a confident start, winning four penalty corners in the first half, but they couldn’t convert due to some great work by the Sefton keeper.
After the break, Forest were caught sleeping as Sefton, for only the second time during the game, broke into the home 23m area.
The Forest keeper made a diving save, but the Sefton clinically finished the rebound.
Forest continued to press and saw good midfield work from player of the match Olivia Bythell and Cathy Waters, while Charlotte O’Brien was unlucky not to equalise when her shot hit the post.
With five minutes to go, Sefton went down to 10 after a player used inappropriate language to the umpire, but Forest failed to capitalise on penalty corner chances and consequently lost 1-0.
The seconds also lost 1-0 to Lancaster and Morecambe’s firsts in the quarter-final of the cup.
But the thirds won at Springfield Fourths in the quarter finals of the Lishman Plate Knockout Contest.
Centre midfielder Freya Bythell was instrumental for Forest, as she and Thea Cormack repeatedly got down the right and crossed balls into the D. Such a move that saw the ball land with Forest’s old hand Cath Hutchinson, whose well-struck shot was turned in by Claire Birkett.
Springs came back at Forest but Hutchinson linked with Birkett, who squared left across the keeper for Julie Finden to knock in.
Birkett notched up her second after an end to end passing move, giving Forest a 3-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Springs did get on the score sheet from a penalty corner to make it 3-1 five minutes from time, but Forest were worthy winners.