The O’s staged a dramatic comeback to defeat Actonians 2-1 and secure their place in the Second Round of the Vitality FA Cup. 90th minute goals from Egle Trezzi and Scarlett Smith saw the O’s turn the tie on its head in the first game played at their new home in Hornchurch.
The London Derby was a tight, tense affair up until the 73rd minute when Meila D’Santos’ deflected effort gave the visitors the lead at the Bridge Avenue.
It looked like time was running out for Chris Brayford’s side to battle their way back into the contest, however, as the clock ticked into the final minute of the 90, midfielder Trezzi produced a moment of genius to smash one in from outside the box and restore parity.
Buoyed by the late leveller, the O’s went again. Lauren Heria showed great tenacity to win the ball back and set Michelle Young free down the right-hand side, the winger then jinked to the outside of her marker and delivered a low cross into the six-yard box where Smith was on hand to prod home a dramatic winner right at the death.
Sunday’s game will be Orient’s first in the league since early October and speaking ahead of this one, vice captain Kate Bradley emphasised that after a stop start period in the season the squad is confident that they can improve on their league form.
“We’ve had a massive transition in terms of personnel over the summer, a lot of players left from last year and a lot of new players joined so it was always going to take us a few games to gel and find our identity as a team.
We said after the Actonians game last weekend that we need to treat that as the precedent and we need to take that performance now into the league. It’s a big game on Sunday, it’s a must win because we really need to get some points on the board now and kick on.”
Managed by Tim Rapley, Cambridge City come into this one sitting in 10th place in the WNL Division One South East with a record of one win, one draw and five losses from their seven league games played.
Last weekend’s return to action proved to be an unhappy one for the Lilywhites as they lost out 6-0 away to Hashtag United. Though in their last home game they did see off Stevenage quite comfortably, beating them 4-1 at Ely City FC in their only league win of the season to date. Forward Grace Stanley bagged a brace in that victory and will be sure to be one for the O’s defence to keep an eye on this weekend.
You have to go back to the opening day of last season for the most recent clash between these two. That fixture proved to be the perfect start to the campaign for Orient as they ran out 5-1 victors at Mile End Stadium.
Hayley Barton’s strike straight from a corner saw the O’s race into an early lead in East London but they were soon pegged back when Karly Tolentino levelled with a near post effort.
Egle Trezzi’s goal in the 25th minute saw Brayford’s side head into the break in front, before three goals in the last half hour from Danielle Griffiths, Sophie Le Marchand and Belen Ripoll Douton secured a convincing opening day victory.
Sunday’s game takes place at The Demcom Stadium, home of Ely City FC. Kick off is scheduled for 2:00PM and supporters are permitted to attend this fixture.