​Forest shocked by bottom of the table

Pendle Forest slipped to a surprising 2-1 defeat at bottom-of-the-table Alderley Edge.​
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Forest were caught on the break early on with the defence stretched out wide, with the ball being converted from close range.

Back after injury, Charlotte Hartley came back with a spring in her step. Good movement up front by Steph Bedford and Hartley allowed Liv Bythell and Lisa Crewe chance to infiltrate the gaps but the Alderley Edge defence and goalkeeper were cutting off the final balls.

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The opposition’s building down the pitch was quick and accurate and before long Forest found themselves 2-0 down.

During the second quarter, Forest’s back line was not seeing much action and a lot of the game was being played out in midfield.

There were some good carries down the right wing by Hannah Metcalf and Hayley Baines down the left, but Forest could not seem to find the final ball in the Dee.

In an attempt to go all out, coach Ian Bythell took off the goalkeeper leaving 11 outfield players and chance to push up.

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Within minutes a cross in from Hartley found Cathy Kilgallon in the Dee, the connection with the ball was a sweet, one touch strike that hit the backboard, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

Forest were back in the game and there were tussles at every turn. A card was imminent it was just a case of which side it would go to first.

Freya Bythell was on the receiving end of a six-minute sin bin for barging, closely followed by Metcalf.

With Forest down to nine players and still no keeper, Alderley Edge thrust forward and came close to scoring again but Crewe stretched across, slowing down a shot at goal allowing Jan Cormack to save on the line as the ball edged its way to the bottom right corner of goal.

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The goalkeeper was brought back on and Forest rallied under the pressure but even back up to 11 players, they couldn’t quite find the equaliser and the score stayed at 2-1.This weekend, Forest are at home to Doncaster, 12.30pm push back. The thirds are away to Southport.

Meanwhile, The third team enjoyed their first win of the season – beating Fylde fourth XI 4-0.

The thirds were up to full strength with Eleanor Boyden back in midfield after weeks out with an injury.

Fylde had the first ball and showed their statement of intent from the off, getting the ball forward, however, they hadn't banked on the outstanding performance from Forest's player-of-the-match Hannah Tofalos in the centre of midfield.

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Tofalos cut out the straight ball and sent a diagonal left for Tilly Hird to run on to. Hird used her close stick and ball skills to take on three Fylde players which took her into the Dee.

Hird connected well with her strike but the angle proved too much and her shot ran wide. Forest were buoyed by this opportunity and felt that this game was theirs for the taking.

Despite Fylde getting two penalty corners, they could not get past the Forest back line four of Becky Bell, Tofalos, Anne Smith and Boyden.

Forest opened the scoring when Boyden linked with Tofalos who squared to Hird – she then slipped ithe ball nside for Halle Hendley.

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Hendley jinked her way into the Dee where she fired from the right edge of the D. The ball was on target, but to ensure it wasn't saved, goal poacher Claire Birkett popped up to thread it through the keeper's legs.

Forest played on with the same one and two-touch style hockey with the occasional long ball cutting through the Fylde midfield for Birkett and Hendley to latch on to.After half-time, Tofalos slipped the ball right for Autumn Crewe who made ground down the right flank before slipping inside for Rachel Bradley,

Bradley used phenomenal stick and ball trickery to send the ball left and forward to Birkett who made no mistake as she sent the ball to the right of the Fylde keeper.

Birkett soon had her hat-trick when she took advantage of a poor hit out from Fylde. The Forest goal poacher cut out the pass and fired the ball past the stranded keeper.

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Forest weren’t finished and they made it 4-0. Bradley won a penalty corner. Dee McInnes hit a rocket of a ball to Bell who struck home with precision and power to get Forest a fourth goal.

Thirds travel to Southport tomorrow.

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