Derby victory over Fylde sets up huge title decider for Pendle Forest this weekend
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There were some good early gaps in the Fylde defence, one resulting in the first goal, a quick free hit taken by Thea Cormack set Freya Bythell off with a run towards the D and an accurate pass to Lisa Crewe saw her convert in front of goal.
Into the second quarter and Forest were linking up well on the left with Sam Parker and Crewe finding space down the wing and bringing Liv Bythell from midfield into the equation also.
Hayley Baines helped Forest gain a penalty corner, once again outwitting the Fylde defence with her reverse stick work but they were just not able to capitalise.Hannah Metcalf on the right was deliberately cutting in, forcing the Fylde defence to twist, turn and make mistakes but Forest still couldn’t quite penetrate the in-form Fylde goalkeeper although they did get a shot on goal, which appeared to be stopped by a defender’s body on the line which would have resulted in a penalty stroke, It was deemed by the umpires to have been saved by the stick! .
Fylde won some penalty corners also catching the defender’s feet on a couple of occasions but the defence dealt with it well, and a tremendous outstretched save by Freya Bennett in goal, kept the score at one nil for now.
Into the second half, Fylde began to push down the left-hand side, pressurising as a unit and gaining themselves a penalty corner. They fired a ball across the goal, just glancing the goalkeeper’s pads, but it found the backboard to level the scores.
As the tension grew, the cards came out. First of all a Fylde player was green carded for stick tackling. Then Baines took to the sideline for two minutes after connecting the back of her stick with the ball resulting in a foul.
Minutes later, a midfielder tried to chase speedy Charlotte Hartley but their tired legs ended up barging her off the ball and once again a green card came out putting Fylde back down to 10.
The game steadied and a quick ball out from a hit out by Jan Cormack MOM opened up the pitch and found Thea Cormack in midfield who laid it off to Crewe and then down the line to Hartley. She headed towards goal drawing out the GK taking it around her and slotting it home.
Forest defended their 2-1 lead well in the final quarter although after taking some hard hits in midfield, a late tackle from Liv Bythell forced a green card.
The whole team pulled together as a unit and reached the end with a 2-1 win. This keeps them second in the division behind Wakefield who are only three points ahead and who they play away next week in an all-to-play-for final nail-biting fixture.
Pendle Forest’s third team had two matches over the weekend against teams in a much higher league position.
On Saturday, they met Garstang seconds on a wet and windy Saturday and never really got out of the blocks.
Garstang were three-up by the half-time whistle despite the heroics in goal by player-of-the-match Jane Lofthouse.
She prevented several goal scoring opportunities blocking with skill and confidence including two flyers that hit her in the chest. Forest did their utmost to get back in the game in the second half but Garstang were too quick and helped themselves to two more goals before the final whistle.
On a cold and windy Sunday Forest met Lancaster Seconds in a much more even contest. Forest started brightly with some quality one and two touch passes to get them moving up the pitch as a unit.
Eleanor Boyden was key at the centre of midfield and linked well with Annie Geoghegan to get on the attack and play strikers Autumn Crewe and Judy Bentham into scoring opportunities.It was somewhat against the run of play when Lancaster scored from a penalty corner.
Forest were not going to let their heads drop and really took the game to Lancaster at the restart. They moved the ball around well with player of the match Boyden involved in every move.
Boyden passed to Geoghegan who dribbled into the D and when there was no room to shoot she sensibly played for the foot foul to give Forest one of 3 penalty corners. Becky Bell struck the ball well with Crewe making to the left post but the ball went just inches past her stick to run out of play.They play their last game of the season away at Lytham.