Orient manager, Chris Brayford, made three changes from the mid-week rout of Burgess Hill Town with Latoya Smith, Danielle Griffiths and Ellie Stenning starting in place of Naomi Ogunde, Demi Brown and Lisa Holmback.
QPR came into this game having won all seven of their matches played this season and they got off to a flying start when, after some miscommunication in the O’s defence, the ball fell to Millie Cutler who tucked the ball into an empty net to give her side the lead.
However, Orient responded well to that early set back and could have been level when Otesha Charles was played in behind the R’s defence, though she was crowded out before she could get a shot away.
The O’s were finding a lot of joy in behind the opposition defence early on, first Charles latched onto another ball over the top from Jasmie Auguste only to drag her effort wide, then Sophie Le Marchand sprang the offside trap only to be denied by a fine save from Lucie White.
Orient again came close minutes later, when Trezzi’s header was flicked over the bar by a QPR defender just in front of the goal-line. From the resulting corner, Stenning also came very near to levelling the scores, but was thwarted in her efforts by White.
Stenning wasn’t to be denied in the 26th minute though, as she turned the ball in from Hayley Barton’s out-swinging corner to give her side a much deserved equaliser.
The attacking midfielder could have had another just moments later, but unfortunately she lost her footing at the crucial moment after being found in the box by Le Marchand.
Just before the break the referee had a big call to make when Charles was cynically brought down on the edge of the box by Sarah Coomson. The QPR defender did end up leaving the field of play, but only through an injury she sustained in making the challenge after the referee had shown her a yellow card, much to the dismay of all in red.
Danielle Griffiths’ resulting free-kick was then deflected over and the O’s had to settle for being level going into the half time break.
Orient picked up where they left off following the restart, as they once again found themselves in behind the high line deployed by the R’s defence, this time it was Barton’s turn to be foiled by the impressive White.
The goal the O’s had been seeking eventually came just after the hour mark, when Charles drove into the box and finished low past White to net her sixth goal in seven days.
Latoya Smith was making her first start of the season in goal for the O’s and she had to be called upon soon after Charles’ strike to maintain her side’s lead, as she denied Cutler her second of the game with a great save.
Orient could have sealed the win with another goal ten minutes from time, but unfortunately Le Marchand hit the woodwork after she’d shown some nice footwork to cut inside and get an effort away.
However, it didn’t prove costly in the end as the O’s rode out the final few minutes to secure their place in the hat for the next round.
Speaking after the game, Le Marchand reflected on the tie saying:
“We’re happy to get through to the next round, we’re happy to have won the game and to be in the draw for the First Round Proper.
But I think when we reflect and look back on the video and at training on Wednesday, I think we’ll be saying there were a lot of chances that could have been taken earlier in the game and we really could have put it to bed earlier.
For now, though, we’re just happy we’re through.”
The O’s winger also discussed the prospect of her side going further in the competition:
“It’s very exciting for us, we’ve never got past the First Round, we’ve always been knocked out at that stage.
So now we’re into the draw for that, we hope we’re going to get an exciting tie and that we can cause an upset, as it would be lovely to make it into the later rounds and have the chance to get drawn against one of those really, really big clubs.”
Orient will find out who they will face in the next round on Monday evening and you can listen to the draw live on talkSPORT from 6:15pm.
Orient: Smith, Anderson, Griffiths, Bastyr, Auguste, Trezzi, McCann, Barton (Hirst 81”), Stenning, Le Marchand, Charles
Subs: Brown, Thomas, Holmback
Goals: Stenning (26”), Charles (62”)
QPR: White, Peacock (Skiverton 89”), Redhead-Ling (Carolan 75”), Coomson (Hall 42”), Grieve, Perez, Sampson, Hennessy, Cutler, Petit, Dzyadyk
Booked: Coomson (42”)
Goal: Cutler (7”)