On a day where a challenging playing surface played an influential role in the afternoon’s proceedings, Orient capitalised on errors from City’s backline to register goals from Otesha Charles and Ellie Stenning.
Orient’s first-half goals were enough to see out the victory despite a consolation from City’s Bella Simmons.
The O’s settled quickly and started the game the better of the two sides, enjoying dominant spells of early possession.
After settling quickly into the game, Orient made life difficult for Cambridge City as their increasing confidence indicated an early Orient opener was potentially on the cards.
With City largely chasing shadows, it seemed likely Orient were perhaps about to enjoy a repeat of their 5-1 thrashing of City on the opening day of the season.
Utilising their full backs to good effect, Orient converted fine pieces of link up play on the flanks into dangerous attacks. With one resulting in a long-range effort from Jasmine Auguste, which the City goalkeeper did well to get fingertips to.
In an attempt to maintain her side’s pressure whilst they were out of possession, Charles tirelessly pressed alongside her strike partner, Sophie Le Marchand.
Charles’ hardworking endeavours paid dividends as City’s defence succumbed to Orient’s unwavering pressure.
Midway through the first half, Charles intercepted a short pass going back to City’s goalkeeper, to eventually convert into an empty net and give Orient the lead.
Orient’s opener appeared to be the wake-up call City needed, as they came out a different side after the restart.
They began to get quicker in picking up loose balls and eventually registered their first attempt on goal, which produced a smart save from Orient goalkeeper, Naomi Ogunde.
After this spell for City, Orient regained their dominance just before half-time.
With excellent running once more, Charles chased and latched onto an overhit through ball which appeared to be a lost cause.
By producing a driven cross, she picked out Stenning who was unmarked in the centre of the box. She extended Orient’s lead to 2-0 with a powerful volley, sending her side in at the break with a two-goal cushion.
In the second half, Orient struggled to match the level of intensity they displayed in the first with uncharacteristic errors slipping into their performance.
Looking to overturn a two-goal deficit, City began to play a notably higher line which mainly sat a few yards shy of the halfway line.
With this difference in approach, City continuously threatened with ever-increasingly dangerous attacks. However, Orient were very effective with their recoveries.
City’s second-half resurgence became fruitful when attacking midfielder, Simmons, nodded home from an out-swinging cross to halve the deficit.
Looking to restore her side’s two-goal advantage, Le Marchand embarked on a meandering run shortly after the restart, though her shot lacked the necessary power to trouble the goalkeeper.
In the closing stages, Orient’s Allison McCann pulled up off the ball, with a muscular injury appearing to be the cause. With the midfielder unable to continue, Orient were reduced to 10 for the remainder of the game, having used all available substitutes.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the O’s held firm to register another three points in their title pursuit.
After the victory, Orient’s Cheryl Anderson was very honest in her post-match assessment of her side’s performance.
This result sees the O’s remain in third place in the league, and they will now turn their attention to Isthmian Cup action, travelling to Phoenix Sports next week.
Orient: Ogunde, Anderson (Montiel-McCann 80”), Auguste (Ali 71”), Bastyr, Charles, Collins, Hayles, Le Marchand, McCann, Stenning (Barton 64”), Trezzi
Goals: Charles 18”, Stenning 31”
Cambridge: Bodily, Castiglione, Fay, Gillies, Reed, Shaw (Fitzsimons 55”), Standing (Simmons 2”), Szary, Tolentino, Tomlinson