Pendle Forest kept up the pressure at the top of the North West Hockey Women’s League Division Two with a 3-0 win over Liverpool University on Saturday.
Unbeaten Forest travelled to the side at the bottom of the league with a false sense of security, and sat back while Liverpool tested their defence.
Forest finally created a string of passes down the right side for Olivia Bythell to release the ball into the path of Karen Nuttall, who nipped the ball around a defender and managed to roll the ball over the line.
After a poor first half, Forest turned it around and went out positively in the second half, soaking up the attacking play from the opposition and creating their own attacking moves, one of which came from a long corner crossed by Cathy Waters, followed up with perfect timing by Olivia Purtill, finding the back of the net.
Liverpool weren’t beaten yet and still pressured the Forest defence, but stand-in keeper Fiona Head dealt easily with any threat on goal.
Finally a well-executed penalty corner saw Deb Bythell lift the ball into the top left corner to make it 3-0.
Forest’s seconds beat top of the league Blackpool 2-0 with Rachel Bradley and Natalie Mitchell scoring.
Forest thirds went down 5-0 against unbeaten, top of the division Leyland and Chorley.
Their opponents had beaten previous opponents regularly by double figures so Forest were determined to put in a good performance.
Forest soaked up the pressure and made a number of goal saving tackles. Jayne Kirkpatrick in goal made a number of outstanding stops including a tip of the stick save that left attackers and defenders agog with amazement.
Leyand failed to score until the last five minutes of the first half.
On the restart Forest came out well, but Leyland’s defence was a match for anything that Forest tried and Forest failed to find the net.
There was then a manic 15 minutes where Forest lost some of their discipline and Leyland scored four goals in quick succession to put the score at 5-0.