PENDLE Forest manager Scott Hornby believes losing the club’s incredible 87-game unbeaten run earlier this season served to spur them to promotion.

The club have been promoted to the second tier of English hockey for the first time in their history, securing promotion to the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North with four games still remaining in their current North Hockey Women’s Premier Division campaign.

And Hornby, whose side’s unbeaten run ended earlier this term, believes that setback proved to be a positive.

“It got the monkey off our backs to be honest. Every team we came up against wanted to be the ones to end it,” he said.

“It was going to come to an end eventually because all of these things do in sport and when it did, it was all about how we reacted.

“The squad reacted in the best way possible and used it to spur them on in the push for promotion.

“We’ve secured it with four games still to go, we now have our eyes on the title, that would cap off a fantastic season for us.

“The squad are looking forward to testing themselves in the higher league against better players, we’re not just happy to be able to experience it.

“We want to make an impact and for people to know about us.”

Forest have enjoyed plenty of success in recent seasons but now have a promotion to show for it.

“We’ve won the league five years in a row, but have fallen short of promotion when we had to go through the play-offs for it,” said Hornby.

“We never really set out to achieve all of this because of the size of our club - we’re competing against clubs from a lot bigger areas than us.

“Our squad has pretty much been the same in the eight years I’ve been manager, apart from a few youth players who have come through; we’re unique in that sense.

“We’re going to carry on in this manner, it’s worked for us so far so there’s no reason why it won’t work for us in a higher division.

He added: “When recruiting players, we’re competing against the big Manchester club, Liverpool clubs and Fylde - who have fantastic facilities.”

Pendle pushed their claim for the title even further with a 10-0 victory over Sheffield Hallam on Saturday.

Forest opened the scoring in the 12th minute when an interception by Thea Cormack aided Charlotte Hartley to drive forward and she was able to put Forest 1-0 up.

Only two minutes later, Steph Bedford found Hartley in front of goal who this time lifted the ball over an outstretched keeper.

A penalty corner drag flick by Lisa Crewe was perfectly placed to, a defenders stick on the line almost managed to stop the shot but the ball landed over the line and put Forest 3-0 ahead.

Two more goals before half time gave Forest a convincing lead at the break.

The goal fest continued into the second half and in a mirrored fashion of the Bedford goal, Crewe sent in a deceptive pass and this time Thea Cormack who was perfectly placed, made sure that the deflected the ball in to give Forest the 6-0 lead.

Freya Bythell managed to quickly follow up on an attempted clearance, with a volley at close range, giving the keeper no chance of a second save and the eighth goal came from the same penalty corner move - this time Sam Parker was on hand to deflect in, defeating the Sheffield defence once more.

Despite the Forest onslaught, a clearance out of defence found Crewe up the pitch firing the ball at goal but not convinced it would go in, Hartley got the final touch and pushed her tally up to four goals in the game.

Hartley then played in Bythell to beat the keeper and slide the ball in to make it 10-0 and complete the scoring.