Forest stretch winning sequence against old foes

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Pendle Forest maintained their perfect start to the season with a sixth-successive win, to make it an incredible 80 league games without defeat.

And in doing so, they beat Alderley Edge, one of the last teams to beat them, in an end of season promotion play-off game a few seasons ago!

They brought a young, fit side to compete, and there was early action at both ends.

Crosses from the left were not quite able to be converted by Alderley Edge, and Forest’s attacks weren’t quite able to break through either.

Sam Parker dealt strongly with pressure down the left wing, connecting with the midfield and strangling the opposition’s intent. This reversed play, allowing the home forwards the space to push ahead.

Forest claimed the first spoils when, carrying the ball, Freya Bythell connected with Thea Cormack and pulled off a blind side run. Bythell perfectly-weighted the ball through a gap from the top of the D for right midfielder Cormack to roll off her player in front of goal, and reverse stick shoot, hitting the back board.

Forest pressed forward, not having to wait long for a superb solo run from Charlotte Hartley, who, while being tightly marked, dribbled into the D at speed and pulled off an amazing reverse stick shot, on an acute angle, finding the top right of the netting.

Struggling to connect with their own forward line, Alderley Edge brought a change in formation in the second half, but the gap still became larger in midfield as Alderley Edge could not soak up the pressure.

Player of the match Olivia Bythell managed several solo runs, resulting in well-earned penalty corners, but Forest were still trying to find an end product.

It was from open play that the third goal finally came, after grinding down the Alderley Edge defence, a lightning strike across from the left by Hartley took a slight deflection, but Lisa Crewe , perfectly placed on the back post, made no mistake.

In the closing stages, keeper Laura Kendal was required to make two excellent reaction saves, one forcing the ball wide with her arm outstretched, and the other bouncing off her helmet at close range. Olivia Bythell was also shown a yellow card for a stick tackle in the defensive zone.

The Alderley Edge keeper was also called into action once more but with unfortunate circumstances. A floor slide to reach the ball completely took out Hartley, who flew up in the air and landed awkwardly on her shoulder, seeing her take no further part in the game.

On Saturday, Forest entertain Leeds University at 11-30 a.m.

Pendle Forest first teamers Freya Bythell and Thea Cormack were both in action on Sunday as they represented the Central Lancashire League Under 21s side.

The league played three games in total, coming away with a 100% record.

They beat Cumbria 3-2, Cheshire 2-0 and South Lancashire 4-0, with both involved throughout, Freya scoring once during the day.