Four goals from Lisa Crewe extended Pendle Forest’s perfect start in the North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division.
Forest made it four wins from four, and 78 league games without defeat, with a 6-2 win at home to Didsbury Northern Ladies.
Didsbury started well, and on 14 minutes were rewarded when a clear break down the left saw them shoot at Forest keeper Laura Kendall, who made the initial block save, but a sharp follow up saw them go 1-0 up.
Forest equalised on 20 minutes when they found space down the flanks and got into the D, gaining a penalty corner, which Crewe converted, superbly drag flicking the ball into the top left of the netting.
This woke Forest up, and good work from Olivia Bythell and Steph Bedford pushing forward helped Forest gain more penalty corners.
Charlotte Hartley put the home side 2-1 up when she picked the ball up in midfield, pushed forward at pace, in open play, taking on defenders and drawing out the keeper, with her reverse stick shot finding the bottom right corner across goal.
In the second half, player of the match Kendall held firm as the last line of defence, and Forest finally began to settle.
Thea Cormack and Freya Bythell showed composure beyond their years, helping to direct attacking play towards the forward line.
Crewe bagged her second goal, managing to nutmeg the keeper on the first strike of another penalty corner.
Crewe secured her hat-trick from a third penalty corner, when the ball deflected in off a defender’s stick.
Didsbury continued to battle, and a reverse stick assist from a penalty corner found a narrow angle past the keeper, but Crewe, in a fantastic display claimed a fourth goal when another penalty corner went in off a defender’s foot.
Crewe and Hartley connected once more for Forest’s final goal at a penalty corner, with Hartley deflecting the ball up past the keeper.
Forest travel to Kirby Stephen tomorrow.
Pendle Forest seconds travelled to a wet and windy Cumbria to play Windermere.
Pendle started cautiously, adapting to the conditions, player of the matchJayne Kirkpatrick making several saves.
Pendle found their game, pressing Windermere and controlling play from midfield, and the first goal came from a well-executed pass from Francesca Ratcliffe, down the right to Zoe Kidney, who took it past two defenders to slip to Cathy Killgallon on the back post for a tap in.
Pendle’s second goal came from a move that came from within their own 16-yard line, Janet Mitchell Stanworth hitting the ball to Killgallon, who drove down the left wing, slipped inside to Kidney, who kept calm and pushed past the keeper.
Starting the second half strong, Pendle created several opportunities but failing to convert during several goal mouth scrambles, until Karen Wignall dribbled into the D from the left, playing a square ball to the flick spot to Ratcliffe, who rolled round to reverse stick strike into the bottom corner.
Pendle’s 4th goal came from a scramble in the goalmouth, Kidney flicking over the stranded keeper.