Pendle Forest forced to settle for a share of the spoils after surrendering two-goal lead

Action from Pendle Forest's stalemate at home to Beeston
Action from Pendle Forest's stalemate at home to Beeston

Having beaten Beeston 2-1 in the opening game of the season, Pendle Forest were off to a great start with a goal inside the first minute.

Having beaten Beeston 2-1 in the opening game of the season, Pendle Forest were off to a great start with a goal inside the first minute.

Steph Bedford intercepted the ball in the opposition defence and gave Forest the early advantage, taking it around the goalkeeper and slotting it home.

The run of play then turned, but the Forest defence managed to absorb the away side’s threat from penalty corners with perfectly timed tackles by Deb Bythell and Sam Parker, which saw Forest through to the second quarter.

The action was halted temporarily in the second quarter as a vole interrupted play, but Forest didn’t lose their concentration once the pitch invader was caught.

Forward runs by Freya Bythell and Hayley Baines heaped pressure on the Beeston backline, which forced a penalty corner.

A sharp ball in by Lisa Crewe found Freya Bythell, who was lined up perfectly to deflect the ball into the net.

The hosts had opened up a two-goal cushion, but they were forced to continue with a numerical disadvantage for two minutes after Thea Cormack was sent to the sin bin for a stick tackle.

Beeston came out in a different mood for the second half, pushing and battling their way through players to make Forest aware that they had a game on their hands.

Forest held firm from a succession of penalty corners against them, but a long corner for Beeston saw them work the ball to Esther Chan to convert.

Undeterred, Forest pressed on and some excellent cross field balls by Crewe encouraged the home side to advance.

Cormack attempted to round Jenny Rizzo during one such attack, but the number 18 landed badly following a collision with the goalkeeper and left the field with an injury.

The intensity of the game was heightened and although Forest were trying to keep their discipline it was Beeston who had the last laugh.

A deflected ball looped up into the air and landed fortuitously in front of goal for Chan, who tucked her effort past Laura Kendall in the 62nd minute to make it 2-2.

Forest head in to the Christmas break in fourth spot in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North table at the halfway stage. They entertain Doncaster on their return to action on February 1st, 2020.

After a disappointing 4-1 loss to Southport in the league, Pendle Forest’s second string returned for the quarter-finals of the Caley Trophy with high expectations and a desire to avenge that defeat.

The visitors went ahead in the third minute when Karen Wignall slotted the ball under the goalkeeper following a goalmouth scramble.

Wignall was at the heart of Forest’s second when her attempt from Lucy Daye’s pass struck the goalkeeper’s pads, but Bex Miller was on hand to fire in the rebound.

Forest had one foot in the semi-final when Marion Sanderson added a third after half-time, netting with a reverse stick flick following good work from Ali Gill.

Southport’s consolation came from a Jayne Kirkpatrick error from their only penalty corner of the tie, but Forest wrapped things up through Cathy Kilgallon.

The goalscorer received Amy Trickett’s pass to score after a couple of blocks.