Manager Chris Brayford named six debutants in his starting line-up, including three of the back four. The number of new additions might have explained Orient’s slow start in E3, as KFU winger Charlie Goad, struck one just over in the 8th minute to give Brayford’s side a warning shot.
The O’s improved after that, having more of the ball and earning some set-piece opportunities. Young almost broke through but was muscled out of it before getting an effort in on goal. Orient appeals for a penalty were then waved away moments later by referee Morgan Conn after a scramble inside the six-yard box.
It was the visitors who would go into the interval ahead though. Goad found space down the left and produced a lobbed effort to break the deadlock.
Brayford made a double change at the break, Rochelle Romer and Lisa Hölmback made way for Naomi Ogunde and Egle Trezzi.
Orient saw a lot of the ball in the opening stages of the second half but found it difficult to create anything clear cut against a stubborn KFU backline. In an attempt to change that Brayford made his final alteration with midfielder, Cheryl Anderson replaced by new forward, Claudia Zahui.
The switch had the desired effect as the O’s began to turn their possession into chances. The first of which saw Hayley Barton sting the palms of Charlotte Greenwood in the KFU goal with a strike that looked destined for the top corner.
Then in the 75th minute, Barton came close again. Her in-swinging corner deceived everyone and would have ended up in the back of the net had it been just an inch lower, with the ball rattling the crossbar instead.
Zahui came close shortly afterwards with a shot that went narrowly over before the equalizer eventually came ten minutes from time. Ria Collins cut inside of her marker and whipped a teasing cross towards the back post where the ball was met by Young who finished spectacularly on the volley to draw her side level.
Ogunde had to stay alert to produce a smart save to prevent KFU substitute, Amy Payani from grabbing a winner in the 85th minute. But that proved to be the last action of the game with the O’s having to settle for a point in their first competitive match for six months.
Speaking after the game, one of the six debutants, American centre back, Kate Kerr remarked that she thought the result was a fair one.
“We didn’t deserve to lose. We showed spirit and we worked really hard throughout the entire game, so to lose 1-0 would have been harsh on us.”
Next up for LOWFC is a trip to North London to take on Enfield Town at the QE Stadium on Sunday.
Orient: Romer (Ogunde 46’), Lee, Bradley, Kerr, Collins, Anderson (Zahui 60’), Hölmback (Trezzi 46’), Heria, Young, Denny, Barton
Goals: Young 80’
KFU: Greenwood, Moloney, Powell, Cockerill, Burnham, Squirrell, Carlton, Fowle, Russ, Goad, Burrows
Subs: Payani, MacNeil, Taylor, Francis, Carpanini
Goals: Goad 34’
Referee: Morgan Conn