access_time 10 months ago

Leyton Orient WFC made history on their return to action with a 4-0 victory away at Hounslow. Goals from Katherine Long, Réa Laudat and a double from Nyara Denny secured Orient’s place in the third round of The FA Cup for the first time ever.

The O’s starting lineup had just one alteration to it from the side that defeated Actonians last time out back in December, as Réa Laudat replaced Allison McCann in midfield.

Chris Brayford’s side showed no signs of rustiness following the prolonged break, as they started the game brightly against their opposition from the division above.

Orient dominated the early possession but, up against a deep block from the home side, were limited to speculative efforts from range.

The first clear cut opportunity for The O’s came following a break away from the opposition’s corner. Laudat and Nyara Denny countered quickly and made their way into the Hounslow half, the ball eventually fell to skipper Egle Trezzi, who fired narrowly over.

Just a minute later, the deadlock was broken. A good burst from full back Sophie Lee saw Katherine Long receive the ball at an acute angle inside the box. The forward then produced a sumptuous powerful strike into the far corner to give her side the lead.

The visitors’ tails were up after that opener and they continued to create decent goal scoring opportunities. Denny’s electric pace saw her race through the home side’s backline, but she was denied by ‘keeper Angelica Kopec, who did excellently to smother the ball and collect it at Denny’s feet.

Laudat had produced a number of strikes from distance throughout the first half to no avail, until one eventually paid off in the 36th minute. Kopec was unable to prevent the former Charlton midfielder’s well struck effort from nestling in and doubling her side’s advantage.

And two minutes later, Orient added a third. Some neat interplay between Hayley Barton and Long led to the latter getting a strike away inside the box, Kopec did well to get a hand to the shot, however Denny was on hand to prod home the rebound and make it three.

Moments before half time, Long could have bagged her second and Orient’s fourth. A smart turn from the O’s forward got her away from her marker and she then rattled the post with a low driven effort, Barton turned in the follow up from close range but was denied by the assistant referee’s flag.

Orient made their first change at the break. Skye McNally picked up a knock in the first half, and with his side in command, Brayford opted to withdraw the full back and brought on Cheryl Anderson in her place.

Ten minutes after the interval, The O’s had a fourth. Denny’s rapid speed and silky dribbling skills had been a thorn in Hounslow’s side throughout the tie. The winger again broke through the home side’s backline to go one on one with Kopec, the ‘keeper produced a tidy save from Denny’s first attempt, however she was powerless to prevent her tapping in the rebound and putting the tie beyond any doubt.

With confidence flowing throughout the side, Orient continued to probe forward. Both Lee and Lauren Heria tried to get in on the act with speculative strikes, but their efforts were comfortably claimed by Kopec.

Brayford made his second switch, shortly after the hour mark. Long the player to make way for young forward Claudia Zahui.

Denny could have had a hat trick when once again she broke the offside trap and galloped away towards goal, though this time she was denied by a brave stop from Kopec.

That proved to be Denny’s last act of the match, as soon after she was replaced by Michelle Young.

Five minutes after entering the fray, Young almost picked up an assist. Her out-swinging corner was met well by centre back Kate Bradley, but her header landed just over the crossbar.

Brayford took advantage of the extended number of substitutions allowed in this season’s competition, as he made a further two changes mid-way through the second half. Scarlett Smith and Maisie Cannon the players to enter the action in place of Barton and Trezzi.

The O’s had chances for a fifth, but were once again left frustrated by some handy goalkeeping from Kopec. A teasing ball in from Young was well punched away by Hounslow’s goalkeeper, before Cannon fired just over from outside the box. The home side’s shot stopper then had her palms stung by a well struck effort from Zahui.

The only slight negative of an overwhelmingly positive day for the away side came with two minutes to go, as Laudat limped off with an injury. Which, after having made all five substitutions, meant Orient were forced to finish with ten.

Despite being a player down, The O’s continued to push on in search of more goals. The ball fell to Cannon on the edge, who let fly with a volley that Kopec did well to keep a hold off.

The referee blew the final whistle shortly after, putting an end to a commanding history making performance from The O’s.

Speaking after the game, Denny spoke of her pride at the team’s performance.

“We controlled the game the whole way through, and we played well as a team. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to go to the next round and put in 100% effort. We’re just so happy to win in the Second Round.”

O’s gaffer Brayford emphasised his pleasure with his side’s display following such a long spell without a competitive game.

“We were really pleased. The players were great. It’s not easy playing that game so soon after the break. It’s a credit to the players that they worked as hard as they did in that hot weather.”

Orient will now host WNL South side Chichester and Selsey in the next round on Sunday, with a tie away at WSL club West Ham awaiting the winners in the Fourth Round.

Orient: Ogunde, Lee, Kerr, Bradley, McNally (Anderson 46′), Trezzi (Cannon 74′), Heria, Barton (Smith 77′), Laudat, Denny (Young 67′), Long (Zahui 63′)

Subs: Xidhas, Corcoran

Goals: Long 27′, Laudat 36′, Denny 38′, 55′


Hounslow: Kopec, Monachello, Maloney, Deluca, Sampson, Garlannd, Hughes, Guzowska, Kassem, Kumaning, Waithe

Subs: Tullett, Foley, Adcock, Nolan, Chan, James, Bytyqi