Nyara Denny had given Orient an early lead, however the Rs turned the score line on it’s head to lead 2-1 at half time, before Denny sent the tie to penalties. Allison McCann was the only player to see her spot kick saved in a high quality shootout that ended 5-4 to the hosts.
Chris Brayford made two changes to the eleven that defeated Dulwich Hamlet in the F.A Cup last weekend, Egle Trezzi and Cheryl Anderson the ones to drop out with McCann and Hayley Barton taking their place in the side.
High on confidence after winning their last two games, the O’s made the best possible start in West London. Michelle Young broke down the right and delivered a high cross that was spilt by Rangers ‘keeper Lucie White, Denny then showed quick reactions to prod home from close range and give her side a 2nd minute lead.
Orient continued their bright start in the 8th minute when some good work again from Young saw her cross to Barton in the box, however White was equal to her effort.
Laura Hennessy dragged the home side’s first shot of the game wide just after the 20th minute mark, before Young hit one that the Rs keeper did well to keep a hold of.
A good spell of pressure mid-way through the first half should have seen the O’s double their lead. First, Denny curled one narrowly over after receiving a ball to feet from McCann. Then moments later, Young and Kayleigh Xidhas worked a short corner routine that eventually saw the latter twist and turn and fire a fierce effort that looked destined for the back of the net, only for it to strike the base of the upright and go behind.
Somewhat against the run of play, Rangers equalised in the 29th minute through Ellie Searle. The forward volleying home after Orient failed to clear their lines from a set piece.
Brayford’s side responded well to conceding, Barton’s in-swinging free-kick had to be hooked off the line by a covering Rs defender, before Young stung White’s palms with a rasping effort from range.
Though, it was the home side who would go into the interval ahead. Goalscorer Searle turned provider as she played in Millie Cutler, who calmly converted to put her side in front.
Orient came out for the second half with a renewed sense of vigour and levelled in the 53rd minute through Denny. The O’s winger used her electric pace to beat White to a loose ball before rounding the stranded ‘keeper and placing one into the empty net to secure her second of the tie.
Rangers could have gone back in front were it not for an excellent double save from Naomi Ogunde to deny both Cutler and Hennessy in the 67th minute.
Brayford made his first change of the game shortly afterwards, taking off Young for Claudia Zahui.
Ten minutes later, Orient had strong appeals for a penalty after Katherine Long went down in the box but the referee saw nothing doing.
A second change soon followed with Maisie Cannon replacing Xidhas at left back.
With the tie looking destined for penalties, the Rs had one last chance to win it deep into stoppage time. Cutler beat the offside trap and raced through on goal, however she was denied by an unbelievable save from Ogunde that sent the tie to the lottery of spot kicks.
Skipper Allison McCann stepped up first for the O’s, but unfortunately saw White guess the right way in what was the only missed penalty in a shootout of real quality that finished 5-4 to the home side and sent Orient out of the Capital Cup at the first hurdle.
Brayford’s side will be hoping to bounce back next weekend when they travel to Eastbourne Town for a Third Qualifying Round tie in the Vitality F.A Cup.
Orient: Ogunde, Lee, Kerr, McNally, Xidhas (Cannon 81′), McCann, Heria, Young (Zahui 68′), Barton, Denny, Long
Goals: Denny 2′, 53′
Penalties: Long, Denny, Heria, Kerr
QPR: White, Peacock, Dench (Davies 46′), Redhead-Ling, Carolan (Petit 60′), Johnson, Moore, Hall (Wardlaw 57′), Hennessy, Searle, Cutler
Goals: Searle 29′, Cutler 43′
Penalties: Searle, Moore, Hennessy, Petit, Davies