Orient were without a match last weekend after their FA Women’s National League Cup Second Round tie against Cambridge United Women was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In their last outing, the O’s secured a 3-2 victory against Actonians Ladies at Mile End Stadium thanks to Tara O’Halloran’s stoppage time header, which saw the O’s jump to fourth place in the FA Women’s National League South East Division One table.
Chris Brayford’s side will be entering their third cup competition of the season this weekend, having progressed in the FA Women’s National League Cup but exited the FA Cup in the qualifying rounds.
They will return to familiar surroundings having faced AFC Phoenix during pre-season in July. Plus, the Capital Cup has provided some memorable moments for the O’s as they reached the semi-final stage last season, valiantly falling to a 3-2 defeat against Charlton Athletic.
AFC Phoenix compete in the London and South East Regional Women’s Premier Division. They sit fourth in the league table with seven points after two wins, one draw and one defeat so far this season.
They possess the second-best goal difference in their division (+8), having scored 12 goals in their previous three league games and sit just three points off table toppers Whyteleafe FC with a game in-hand.
This will be the third cup competition that AFC Phoenix have taken part in this season. They came through three rounds of FA Cup qualifying before narrowly losing 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon Ladies.
However, after progressing in the London and South East Regional Women’s League Cup with a 3-0 win against Whyteleafe FC, they will be looking to kick-start a Capital Cup run with victory this weekend.
Orient winger Sophie Le Marchand has scored in each of the two cup competitions her side have played in this season. She netted a brace in the 5-4 defeat to Cambridge City Ladies in the FA Cup and scored once in the 1-5 victory against Swindon Town Ladies in the FA Women’s National League Cup. Le Marchand’s talent is clear for all to see, she never fails to cause opposition defences a problem and is gradually starting to find her form in front of goal.
For AFC Phoenix, Natalia Mann has scored three goals in her sides previous four matches, two of these goals have arrived in cup competition. She has scored four goals this season having made five starts in seven games across all competitions and will be looking to add to her personal tally this weekend.
A Look at the Stats
Orient opened their pre-season campaign with a trip to AFC Phoenix on 29th July. The squad consisted mostly of development team players, however first-team regulars such as captain Danielle Griffiths and Sophie Le Marchand got important minutes under their belts. Goals from Lisa Fulgence and Pinja Piira secured a 2-0 victory for the O’s in a beneficial encounter for both sides.
Ahead of the game, captain Danielle Griffiths outlined her ambitions for the competition and acknowledged the progress AFC Phoenix have made:
“The Capital Cup was a real success for us last year, reaching the semi-final and going ahead against Charlton in that game, who went on to win the competition. We hope to replicate that success this year and go one step further in reaching the final. The first test will be overcoming AFC Phoenix who have risen through the ranks in recent years, and who challenged for the title in the league below in their first season. They are up there again this year and we know from playing them in pre-season that they are a good and ambitious team who will push us for 90 minutes.”
Coming to the Game?
If you are coming to the game this weekend, the match will take place this Sunday 21st October at Edward Alleyn Clubhouse, Burbage Road, SE24 9HD with kick-off at 2pm.