Leyton Orient Women produced a perfect end to what has been a marvellous season when they defeated Crawley Wasps 3-1 on Sunday to take the LSERWFL Cup to add to the league title already in the bag (and with it, promotion to the FA Women's Premier League).
Jasmine Campbell's header opened the scoring early on after winger Hayley Barton had bamboozled Crawley's full-back, Michelle Ward.
Sophie Le Marchand then showed balance, pace and strength to fend off the covering defender and her calm sidefoot finish gave the O’s a precious two-goal half-time advantage.
Crawley caused a late scare when striker Naomi Cole swooped to make it 2-1 with a terrific first-time swivel and volley into the top corner with a quarter of an hour to go but Barton's wickedly curling free-kick ended any hopes of a comeback and meant that Orient could celebrate securing the treble.
Skipper Danni Griffiths said: “Winning the League Cup Final and the third trophy of the season is a fantastic achievement. Our focus was always on winning the league championship and obtaining promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League, which we are thrilled to have achieved a few weeks ago. Winning the League Cup and the Mayor’s Cup have been very nice bonuses!
"I am extremely proud of what we have managed to achieve this season, the performances the girls have put in and the way we have come together as a team. It really has been an enjoyable environment in which to play football. We owe a massive thanks to Chris Brayford, our manager, who has led and coached us to these victories and, without him, we would not have come as far as we have. I truly believe that as a team we have the ability to compete in the Women’s Premier League and we are all looking forward to the challenges that await next season!”
Manager Chris Brayford added: “The support from Orient fans has been great and it was a real boost to the team to see the efforts people made to get to the final and cheer us on so thank you for that (and hopefully we made the trip worthwhile)!
“The players have been magnificent so it is just hats off to them and the work they have all put in to produce that consistency and quality of performance over the course of the year. Winning both the league and cup is something really special so we want everyone now to have a chance to celebrate (and get some rest in!) before we come back for pre-season and preparing for the challenge of the WPL…”
Watch the goals and highlights from the final at the Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone: https://youtu.be/7rUf_aElhWM
That had come on the back of an 8-0 win in the final league game of the season, which was held at the O’s Matchroom Stadium.
More than 300 fans turned up to watch the final match and within three minutes there was a goal to celebrate as an underweight backpass from the Fulham captain allowed Ella Meadowcroft to neatly round the keeper.
Her second came half an hour later and resulted from some good interplay between Hayley Barton and Jasmine Campbell on the right and a great supporting run and perfectly weighted first-time pass from right back Connie Montiel-McCann that released Barton whose cross was met by Meadowcroft on the volley for a fine team goal.
The O’s were playing well and creating numerous opportunities and in the second-half they pulled away from a tiring Fulham side that had worked hard up until then.
Two goals in two minutes – greeted by the crowd with loud chants of: “We’re Leyton Orient. We score when we want”!” – made it four with Meadowcroft completing her hat-trick being shortly followed by Le Marchand heading her 40th goal of the season.
Ellie Davies was the player of the match in central midfield and though she missed a second half penalty, her drive and distribution in midfield were again pivotal to the Os' success.
Jasmine Campbell and Francesca Cagetti added themselves to the scoresheet with fine headers – with Cagetti’s her first of the year - from further sublime Barton crosses to the back post before a testing inswinging corner from captain Danni Griffiths then troubled the Fulham keeper and allowed Montiel to tap in number seven. Le Marchand added further gloss when she outpaced her marker and rounded off the scoring.
Above is a gallery of images from the win over Fulham.