Pendle Forest 1sts 4

Cannock 1

AFTER narrowly losing to Alderley Edge last weekend, Pendle Forest got back in to the winning groove against Cannock at Marsden Heights.

It was an impressive display from Forest against a Cannock side who started at a fast and furious pace -immediately testing the home team’s defence in and around the D.

But Forest weathered that early onslaught and after finding their footing, they opened the scoring when, from a free hit from the 25 yard line, Freya Bythell lifted a perfectly weighted ball into the D and a half-volley strike by Steph Bedford found the back of the net.

Forest looked to maintain their momentum and began to drive down the wings with great ball carries by Thea Cormack and Liv Bythell finding space in behind the Cannock defence.

Working as a unit, Forest pressed well leading to a midfield interception by Liv Purtill who found Bedford who in turn released Charlotte Hartley who outpaced the Cannock defence before placing the ball past the goalkeeper to round off a fine solo effort.

Cannock didn’t have the same intensity after the break which allowed forwards Hayley Baines, Fran Ratcliffe and Meg Murphy to make in-roads into the opposing D and their great attacking movement causing the visiting defence problems.

Lazy tackling by Cannock thwarted a weaving ball carry by Freya Bythell but earned her a penalty corner and the opposition a green card. Hartley’s hard work finally paid off when she scored her second goal of the game when a well-worked corner was fired in by Lisa Crewe and converted with a reverse stick deflection by


With the pressure off and the changing formation by coach Ian Bythell, Forest settled further into the game.

Cannock left a player high to try and score on the break but great marking in defence and composure on the ball particularly by player-of-the-match, Sam Parker meant keeper Laura Kendall was only required to make the occasional save. A late penalty corner for Forest this time allowed Crewe to set up a chance of her own - dodging a player on the edge then striking the ball across the keeper finding the bottom left corner.

Cannock grabbed a late consolation goal but Forest came away with a convincing 4-1 win to move back up to third in the table. On Saturday, they travel to Wakefield.