Head Coach, Chris Brayford made two changes from last weekend’s trip to Portsmouth with Lisa Holmback and Ellie Stenning replacing Pinja Piira and Allison McCann in the starting eleven.
Due to the weather, the match was moved to a 3G surface and in the opening stages it was clear to see that both sides were taking their time to adjust to the unfamiliar terrain.
It was the hosts who had the first real chance of the game, Latoya Smith in the O’s goal doing well to deny Amy Howlett from close range in the 15th minute.
As the half wore on, the affair began to get more and more physical with fouls from either side punctuating the game.
U’s midfielder, Albany Hodgson received a yellow card for a late challenge just before the half hour mark and five minutes later Stenning joined her in the referee’s notebook for a similarly scrappy foul.
Orient came very close to breaking the deadlock in the 44th minute. Fran Ali met Hayley Barton’s corner with a looping header that looked destined for the far corner, only for a covering Cambridge defender to clear it off the line.
After coming so close to going into the interval one up, in the blink of an eye the O’s found themselves going in one down. Kelley Blanchflower was played in behind the Orient defence and did well to coolly slot home.
The O’s came out for the second half looking fired up and two minutes after the restart Jasmine Auguste tested the keeper with a fierce strike that ended up stinging U’s keeper, Liz Pamplin’s fingertips.
They came so close to restoring parity five minutes later when Sophie Le Marchand cut inside and curled an effort towards the top corner that looked to have Pamplin beaten. However, a Cambridge defender was on hand to divert the shot away for a corner.
Things got worse for Orient after the hour mark though. A long ball forward following an O’s corner led to a mix up at the back and Blanchflower duly capitalised on the mistake latching onto the loose ball and finishing neatly to double her side’s lead.
Orient continued to push forward to try and reduce the deficit, but all hopes of a comeback were lost when Emma Jenkins fired in an indirect free kick, after the referee adjudged that Ria Collins’ ball back to Smith was a pass back.
Le Marchand and Barton both came close to pulling one back for the visitors, but it just wasn’t to be Orient’s day as they fell to only their second league defeat of the season.
Orient: Smith, Anderson, Collins, Bastyr, Auguste, Trezzi, Ali, Barton (Piira 84”), Holmback (Montiel-McCann 81”), Le Marchand, Stenning
Booked: Stenning 37”
Cambridge: Pamplin, Davis, Burt, Moore, Bennett, Howlett, Otten, Hodgson, Jenkins, Cantwell, Blanchflower
Subs: Thsibanga, Armstrong
Goals: Blanchflower 45”, 66”, Jenkins 83”
Booked: Hodgson 29”