CHARLOTTE Hartley scored a hat-trick as Pendle Forest Firsts enjoyed an impressive 3-0 win against Didsbury Grays.

It was on the final day of last season that Forest won at Didsbury to avoid relegation and the Manchester side arrived in East Lancashire looking to avenge that defeat.

The visitors started strongly with fast flowing play towards the Forest goal. Forest did well to keep them at bay in the first quarter with a great goal line save by Sam Parker and follow-up clearances by Liv Purtil.

The opening quarter was a frantic end-to-end encounter but, in the second quarter, Forest settled it down and dominated the early stages.

Freya Bythell sent some lifted balls directly into the space in the D and although Forest couldn’t capitalise a goal looked likely. And it arrived when Liv Bythell turned over the ball in midfield and passed it to Bythell whose overhead ball found Hartley who beat the keeper with a composed reverse stick push.

Didsbury had breakaways as the game moved on. Several were stunted by the crunching, solid tackling by Deb Bythell but one that did sneak through saw the Forest keeper Freya Bennet stretch out and take the save using her helmet to keep the score at 1-0.

Into the third quarter, Forest were strong in all parts of the field, Lisa Crewe playing some good deceptive passes out of defence and Sally Evans and Mawgan Naylor working hard down the right hand side.

A well deserved second goal finally arrived when a strong ball carry by Liv Bythell to the back line was fed across the goal and Hartley was there for the tap in.

The regular change of personnel did not alter the shape of the Forest set-up. Didsbury pushed forward more as the game went on but Freya Bythell just caught a player with a stick tackle and was green carded late in the quarter but the arched defence from Forest remained stable.

Back on the pitch, Bythell took the free hit quickly and just ahead of the full time whistle, Hartley found the bottom left corner to completed her hat-trick.

Forest are at home again this morning when they host Harrogate (11.30am).

Pendle Forest Seconds returned to action for the first time in three weeks and it showed as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Lancaster and Morcambe - Karen Wignall scoring what proved to be a consolation goal.

The Seconds travel to Wigton this weekend.

And Pendle Forest Thirds travelled to meet Fylde 4ths in a bottom of Division Three battle.

And it was two first half goals from the hosts that proved to be the difference.

Forest will be looking to bounce back when they host Southport 1sts this afternoon (1.15pm start).