Pendle Forest fight back after slow start

Pendle Forest Hockey Club recovered from a slow start to earn a 2-2 draw at Wakefield.
Pendle Forest celebrate scoring against Wakefield (photos: Ian Bythell)Pendle Forest celebrate scoring against Wakefield (photos: Ian Bythell)
Pendle Forest celebrate scoring against Wakefield (photos: Ian Bythell)

In a re-run of the last fixture between the two teams, the opposition scored within the first two minutes, putting Pendle on the back foot from the first whistle.

They were passing hard and accurately not allowing Pendle Forest to clear out of defence and punishing any loose ball.

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They had some shots towards goal, one just going left of the post at a penalty corner and another saved by the outstretched leg of goalkeeper Freya Bennet. The defence were working hard but a penalty corner ball was fired in and deflected up off a Pendle Forest stick and found the back of the net to put Forest two goals down in the first quarter.

Pendle Forest in action against WakefieldPendle Forest in action against Wakefield
Pendle Forest in action against Wakefield

Undeterred Forest changed formation and pushed ahead and with only one minute into the second quarter gone, Freya Bythell took a long corner on the 23m line and found Thea Cormack. She took the ball on to her open stick side and slotted it past the goalkeeper finding the bottom left corner. Forest were jubilant and back in the game.

At the other end of the pitch, the Wakefield goalkeeper was also being challenged.

Steph Bedford was speeding down the right towards goal and as she cut inside, the goalkeeper seemed to take the legs from under her and she was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty flick.

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A penalty corner had to suffice but shortly after she was given another opportunity in an almost carbon copy move of the previous goal. Bythell sent the ball through once more and Bedford slipped it across the goalkeeper finding the bottom left corner once again and bringing the score back level at 2-2.

Pendle Forest on the attack. (Photos: Ian Bythell)Pendle Forest on the attack. (Photos: Ian Bythell)
Pendle Forest on the attack. (Photos: Ian Bythell)

After the break Forest went back to the original formation just to settle and regain composure. Lisa Crewe was working the ball well down the left along with Cormack who managed to cut inside and draw the fouls and gaining the team penalty corners.

Sally Evans was also connecting well with Bedford down the right, but Forest were unable to convert.

In the last quarter frustrations were spilling over and the game became more physical. Bennet had to make a crucial save in the dying minutes to keep the final score at 2-2. Games for the first team resume on February 4 at home versus Timperley.

The second team lost away at South Lake.

Pendle Forest lay up a short cornerPendle Forest lay up a short corner
Pendle Forest lay up a short corner
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The thirds earned their first point of the season with a well-earned draw at home against a good Lancaster Nomads team in a well spirited and competitive fixture.

The hosts started the game on the front foot and continued the excellent attacking play which has been evident in recent weeks.

Forest kept finding spaces down the wings and good running from Claire Birkett, Autumn Crewe and Judy B upfront created the Lancaster defence problems right from the start.

The increased threat on goal lead to several short corners and the ever-dependable Becky Bell stepped up with a trade mark strike to get the deserved lead.

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Pendle did not sit back, and start performer Gretel Thirde proved to be a constant threat down the left side, running tirelessly with determination and great skill.

Lancaster started the second half with more intent but excellent defending from the tireless centre back Hannah Tofalos and some tremendous goalkeeping from Laura Kendal kept them out until the last quarter where they finally squeezed in an equaliser.

Unfortunately, Forest could not find the finishing touches after Rachel Crawford had created several late opportunities displaying her full repertoire of attacking skills.

The team visit Garstang next with a 12pm start and are confident that they can kick on from this creditable result and start to climb the table before the festive break period.

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