Wakefield Ladies 1

Pendle Forest 1st 1

HAVING not played since early December, Pendle Forest returned to action with a tough trip to Wakefield and came away with a share of the spoils thanks to a late equaliser from Steph Bedford.

Forest were forced to soak up the pressure in the early exchanges - spending far too much time in their defensive zone - and the home side opened the scoring in the 10th minute following a penalty flick.

The wake up call pushed Forest into an improved performance in the second quarter, gaining three penalty corners in quick succession but they were unable to convert - one strike by Lisa Crewe flying marginally past the left post.

The game was becoming more and more physical in the third quarter with both teams producing plenty of crunching tackles. Forest were beginning to get out on top and Wakefield had players sin-binned on three separate occasions for not being the required five metres as they tried to slow play down.

Having improved as the game progressed, the last quarter required a huge effort. Forest’s midfield and forwards began to find the gaps. Hayley Baines, Charlotte Hartley and Bedford twisting and turning the Wakefield defence causing them to make mistakes.

With 10 minutes remaining, coach Ian Bythell made a tactical change to just three at the back which allowed Forest to push


And they finally got the equaliser they deserved when substitute Lucy Day, who had only been on the pitch a few minutes, received the ball from Hartley and fired it in from the right wing for Bedford who, despite being tightly marked, managed to slide in to score a fine goal.

Forest went in search of a winner but Wakefield’s defence held firm and the closing stages.

Forest, who are third in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North table, are at home to Doncaster on Saturday (11.30am kick-off).

Pendle Forest 3rds 2

Lancaster 2nds 1

PENDLE Forest 3rds’ long wait for a first win of the season is finally over.

Having losing eight of their previous 11 league matches - picking up three draws along the way - Forest tasted success at the 12th attempt. Pendle went in to the clash on the back of a confidence boosting 4-4 draw in a friendly with Windermere last week.

However, it was the young Lancaster side who made their early pressure count with the opening goal after 10 minutes.

But undeterred. Forest fought back and Emily Dunleavy made the most of a mishit from a

defender following good work by Robynne Plant down the ring wing.

And 12 minutes from the time, player-manager Ann-Marie Lambert found Rosie Southworth on the edge of the D and while her shot was well saved, Rachel Bradley was on hand to score.