Forest bounce back from rare defeat with big win
And the win kept Forest six points clear at the top of the North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division, as they close in on promotion to the National League.
From the outset, Liverpool pressed and moved up the field as a unit.
They were breaking into the D at pace, but some crunching tackles, particularly by centre back Deb Bythell, kept the opposition at bay.
Against the run of play, Forest managed to break through the Liverpool back line when a quick ball by Hayley Baines found Lisa Crewe, who took the ball to the bottom left corner and fired it across for an unmarked Steph Bedford to slide in on the back post and see the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, a scramble at Forest’s defensive end saw Liverpool equalise.
They continued to press but the Forest defence were now organised and solid, leaving the forwards to push on.
Baines was in action once again when, at a penalty corner, Crewe slipped the ball left for Baines to sweep in, putting Forest in the lead once more.
Some quick balls up the pitch resulted in Forest’s third goal when Baines sent a reverse stick dink to Freya Bythell, who took the ball round the outstretched keeper and slotted the ball in the back of the net.
Following this, Baines converted in open play when her reverse stick strike amazingly weaved its way through a crowded defence for a 4-1 lead.
Dani Hornby assisted the fifth goal, slapping the ball in at speed for player of the match Baines once again to find the slightest of touches on the ball in the D, and put Forest 5-1 ahead.
Still pressing on the Liverpool defence, Crewe sent in a shot from the right at a tight angle, and goal hungry Baines was there again to jab the ball home just in front of goal, rewarding her with a well deserved hat-trick.
Not long into the second half, Forest scored again.
A top D strike at a penalty corner saw Crewe beat the keeper and find the bottom left of goal.
It was an uphill battle for the travelling side, but in the 65th minute, Liverpool broke down the left and sent a ball in which deflected up in the air, finding the edge of a Liverpool stick and sending the ball swiftly past the defensive line.
Their late efforts made no real impact as Forest continued to build play, with forwards and midfielders having shots on goal.
But the Liverpool keeper made some excellent saves in the second half, keeping the score at 7-2 to Forest.
Forest play Alderley Edge away tomorrow.
Pendle Forest seconds hosted Windermere in Saturday’s fixture.
A sluggish start plagued Pendle, allowing a youthful away team to press high and create chances down both wings.
Inspired play from Francesca Ratcliffe saw a ball slipped ball left to Hayley Baines, the keeper standing no chance, with a first time strike rebounding off the backboard.
Pendle battled through midfield, using out balls to the wings efficiently.
A penalty corner to the home side saw their goal tally double, with Zoe Kidney injecting to the top of the D.
A slipped ball to Baines was saved by the keeper, only to be slotted into the net by Karen Wignall.
Cathy Killgallon took one for the team and earned herself a green card and two minutes on the sideline for a breakdown of play that the home team thought was just a bad tackle and should of just received a warning.
Windermere earned a penalty corner shortly after when Jayne Kirkpatrick in goal could not move off the ball from a prostrate position.
Pendle defended the corner well, and a quickly-taken free hit from Sarah Towers to Mawgan Naylor saw her ping the ball to Ali de Curtis just over halfway. De Curtis drove into the D towards the keeper, and a flashing cross to Baines on the left produced Forest’s third goal into an open net.
Kidney increased the goal tally hen she skilfully took on three of the Windermere defence, taking it round the keeper, lifting it out of range and into the netting.
Pendle seemed to take their foot off the accelerator in the second half, allowing Windermere more possession.
Both teams created chances in the half from open play and through penalty corners, the defence at both ends evenly matched, with no more goals scored.