LOWFC PREVIEW: Cambridge United Women

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Orient progressed through the determining round with a convincing 1-5 victory away at Swindon Town, earning themselves a bye through the first round.

Previously, the O’s secured their first home league victory of the season with a much-needed 3-2 result against Actonians Ladies at Mile End last Sunday.

Hayley Barton edged the O’s ahead before goals from Carla Williams and Jennifer Laidlaw turned the game in Actonians favour.

After much persistence, Barton notched an 85th minute equaliser before second half substitute Tara O’Halloran headed home a dramatic stoppage time winner.

This victory will have given the squad a huge confidence boost ahead of their cup clash this weekend, where they will be eager to build momentum with progression to the Third Round.

Our Opponents:

As for Cambridge, they have struggled to hit their stride in the league and sit 11th in South East Division One with five points.

However, they will take positives from the fact that their only league victory came against the O’s just over a month ago.

The U’s came through the determining round of the FA Women’s National League Cup with a 2-0 victory against C&K Basildon Ladies, courtesy of goals from Kelley Blanchflower and Kayleigh-Anne Burt.

Cambridge will be aiming to replicate their recent success against the O’s, with a cup run potentially holding the key to igniting an upturn in league form.

Key Players:

Orient winger Hayley Barton was extremely impressive in the 3-2 victory over Actonians Ladies last weekend. With two goals to her name, plus an assist for the winning goal, Barton was a constant thorn in Actonians side. She will be hoping to continue with this level of performance when the O’s travel to Cambridge this weekend.

As for the U’s, forward Kelley Blanchflower bagged a brace against the O’s back in August. She has netted three goals in as many cup games this season for Cambridge and will be keen to maintain this impressive scoring form for the fourth successive cup match.

A Look at the Stats:

  • Orient have lost just one of their five matches on the road this season. (W3 D1 L1)
  • The O’s have scored in each of their previous six matches in league and cup.
  • However, they are without a clean sheet in their previous four games.
  • Cambridge have scored two or more goals in each of their last three cup matches.
  • The U’s have kept two clean sheets in cup competition, both of which came at home.
  • Like Orient, their biggest win of the season came in cup competition, 6-0 vs Harlow Town Ladies in the SSE Women’s FA Cup.

Previous Encounters:

Orient welcomed Cambridge United Women to Mile End Stadium for their first home game of the season on 26th August. Becky Shephard added to a Kelley Blanchflower brace subjecting the O’s to a 0-3 defeat in miserable conditions on Bank Holiday weekend.

Pre-Match Thoughts:

Ahead of the game, midfielder Katharine Nutman spoke about the importance of achieving consistency in results:

“I think building on the momentum of our win last week is what’s really important for us at this stage. Of course, we are motivated to have a good cup run after our performance in the FA Cup, but more than anything we are focussed on winning each game as they come and building some momentum as a team. The performances have started coming together now and it’s about consistently finding a way to win both league and cup games.”

After an impressive individual display last week, Nutman assessed the areas she believes Orient have improved in recently:

“I think in our last two games we have shown an improvement on both sides of the ball. Defensively, our desire to compete and our shape have shown signs of improvement. In possession, we have shown a greater capacity to keep the ball and put together some good patterns of play. Cambridge will be a good test for us and a great opportunity to continue building on the good form we have shown recently.”

Coming to the Game?

If you are making the trip to Cambridge this Sunday 14th October, the match will take place at Clare College Sports Ground, CB2 8AR, with kick-off at 14:00.