Chris Brayford made two changes from the win away at Stevenage last weekend, with Egle Trezzi and Kayleigh Xidhas replacing Giorgia Bracelli and Hayley Barton in the starting eleven.
Spurred on by a substantial, socially distanced crowed in South London, the home side made a bright start. But it was the O’s who found an early breakthrough.
Michelle Young showed great ingenuity to find Xidhas with a quickly taken free kick, she then found the head of Nyara Denny who flicked the ball into the path of Long. The summer signing made it two for two at the start of her Orient career as she rifled the ball into the back of the net to give her side the lead.
The Hamlet came back into it as the half wore on. O’s keeper Naomi Ogunde did well to parry over Havanah McElvaine’s long range strike.
Before two outstanding pieces of defending, first from Cheryl Anderson, then Sophie Lee, prevented the home side from going into the half time interval level.
Ten minutes into the second half, Brayford made his first switch of the game. Xidhas the one to make way for Allison McCann to make her first appearance of the season.
Chances were few and far between in a scrappy second half, something that the O’s were not necessarily displeased about as they held onto that all important one goal advanatage.
Brayford made another change in the 72nd minute, goalscorer Long departed to be replaced by Claudia Zahui.
In virtually her first contribution of the game, Zahui bravely charged down McElavine’s powerful strike from a set-piece. Fortunately though, after some lengthy treatment, the forward was cleared to continue.
A third and final alteration followed ten minutes later as Naomi Feltham took Young’s place on the left hand side of midfield.
Despite not having a whole lot to do during the second half, ‘keeper Ogunde demonstrated a couple of important pieces of handling when Orient needed it most. First, keeping hold of Rosie Stone’s header from a corner, then claiming a bobbling ball into the box as the clock ticked into the final minute.
The O’s defence had impressed throughout the tie with their dogged determined approach, and they were called upon once more in the closing stages. Skye McNally with a crucial block to deny Dulwich an equaliser at the death.
That proved to be the last action of the game though, with Long’s early strike the difference as Orient progressed to the Third Qualifying Round.
Speaking post match, Long was quick to praise the resolve of her side after holding onto the one goal lead for well over 80 minutes.
“The girls proper grinded it out towards the end. I was getting a bit nervous on the bench but we’ll take a 1-0 win, a clean sheet and a place in the next round.”
The forward also remarked on the start to her O’s career which has saw her find the net in consecutive games.
“It’s a really good bunch of girls and the formation we play really suits me. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Next up for Chris Brayford’s side is another away fixture in a cup competition as they travel to West London to take on QPR.
Orient: Ogunde, Lee, McNally, Kerr, Anderson, Trezzi, Heria, Denny, Xidhas (McCann 55″), Young (Feltham 83″), Long (Zahui 73″)
Booked: McNally 47″
Goals: Long 7″
Dulwich: Kovacs, Saylor, Hand, Gibson, Philp, Monkman, Crofts, Walters, Rowe, Milner, McElvaine
Subs: Stone, Hickman, Williamson, Elmore, Williams
Booked: McElvaine 90″