access_time 1 year ago

On Thursday 26th March, the FA announced that, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, they would be bringing the season to an immediate end for all clubs between the third and seventh tiers of the women’s game, meaning no promotion or relegation for any of the clubs situated in these divisions.

The FA Women’s National League is the third and fourth tier of the women’s pyramid and so this decision put a halt to what was shaping up to be a promising season for Leyton Orient WFC.

With Orient sitting in 5th place in the WNL Division 1 South East and with a points per game ratio that sees them ranked as the 4th best team in the division, the end to the season promised to be an exciting one, especially with six of their remaining nine league fixtures coming against sides situated in the top six of the division.

However, in these uncertain times manager Chris Brayford, stressed that the health and safety of players, coaches and supporters must come first.

“It is of paramount importance that people remain at home so that everyone stays safe and well and so that has to be the priority.”

It now won’t show in the history books, but Orient finish 2019-20 with a record of seventeen wins, one draw and six defeats from their twenty-four games played, and in a season full of strong performances, skipper Danielle Griffiths picked out the home game at the Breyer Group Stadium as her favourite of the campaign.

“The 5 – 0 victory at the Breyer Group Stadium against Norwich stands out for me. We scored some brilliant goals, played our best football and the atmosphere at the stadium was fantastic!”

As well as a strong league performance, the O’s achieved great success in cup competitions this season. They reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history and still had a chance of retaining the Reposs Isthmian Cup having set up a semi-final date with Billericay Town.

A cup double was also not out of the realms of possibility for Brayford’s side with a CCFL Cup quarter-final on the horizon and the Orient manager spoke of his pride at his side’s accomplishments throughout the season.

“The players should be proud of their performances.  It is obviously disappointing to have the season end this way, as there was belief that the team could win enough of those remaining matches to be league champions, as well as capture cups.”

Hayley Barton and Sophie Le Marchand end the season level for most appearances with 22 each. Le Marchand also sits atop the scoring charts with 17 goals from those 22 games, closely followed by Otesha Charles who netted an impressive 16 goals from 17 appearances. Griffiths was keen to praise the trio for their achievements as well as the efforts of the rest of the side.

“Sophie, Hayley and Otesha have been superstars for us but as have the rest of the girls who work hard week in week out. The strong position we put ourselves in this season is testament to the hard work of everyone involved with the club.”

Beginning to look ahead to the next campaign, Brayford was also keen to express his gratitude towards everyone who contributed to the 19/20 season.

“A big thank you to everyone, on and off the pitch, for all of their efforts this season and for us now, we need to take everything that we did well, and everything that we can learn from, and build on that to make 2020-21 special!”

Check out some of the highlights from the 19/20 season here.


Leyton Orient WFC would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors for the 2019/20 season.