Alderley Edge 1

Pendle Forest 1sts 0

PENDLE Forest slipped to just their second defeat in 101 games as a first half goal settled the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North clash.

Away games at the Cheshire club have always been a difficult task for Pendle Forest and so it proved with the hosts starting strongly and getting in plenty of shots in the opening quarter.

And they made the breakthrough when a mis-trapped ball was pounced upon and while the shot was parried away by Laura Kendall in the Forest goal, it just sneaked in at the far post to give Alderley Edge the lead.

Forest were struggling to get out of their half until a home player was green carded for a stick tackle. Forest tried to press on but couldn’t capitalise on their player advantage.

But Forest improved as the game progressed and cynical play by the opposition brought out the strength in the visitors.

Player of the match Olivia Bythell showed energy and drive making long runs drawing in players and earning penalty corners. Forest continued to pile on the pressure and a sharp pass by Fran Ratcliffe saw Steph Bedford slide in to try and convert before a drag flick by Lisa Crewe just cleared the crossbar. Freya Bythell was then sidelined for two minutes but Forest weathered the storm.

Going into the last quarter, Forest changed formation in a last chance attack and for a while it worked with Meg Matthews, Bedford and Ratcliffe all causing problems but the Alderley Edge defence held firm to seal victory.

Defeat sees Forest slip to fourth place in the table and they will now look to get back to winning ways when they host Cannock on Saturday (11.30am kick-off).

Pendle Forest 3rds 2

Garstang 2nds 1

Pendle Forest thirds are still seeking a first win of the season in the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League as they slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat to remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division.

Two goals in five first half minutes put Garstang in control.

Forest dominated the second half and Cath Hutchinson pulled a goal back in the second half but Pendle could not find an equaliser.