The O’s women’s team produced a clinical display to comfortably see off struggling Haringey Borough 8-0 at Coles Park in the FA Women’s Premier League on Tuesday night.
Orient came into the match sitting third in the division, having secured a 2-0 victory against Denham United on Sunday. Meanwhile, bottom side Haringey were beaten 7-0 at home to Cambridge United.
Manager Chris Brayford made four changes to the side who started against Denham at the weekend. Vanessa Wilson played in goal with Naomi Ogunde absent, Connie Montiel-McCann came in for Hannah Porter, whilst Kayleigh Xidhas and Rebecca Hirst made their first starts of the season.
It was a wet and windy night in Haringey, with the game getting off to a miserable start for the hosts when Orient were awarded a penalty within two minutes as Sophie Le Marchand weaved through several challenges before being brought down in the box. Captain Danielle Griffiths took responsibility, confidently slotting the ball into the bottom left corner to give Orient the lead.
On 11 minutes, Orient came close to a second when Hirst played an intricate pass into Sárka Stryhalova’s path before the striker drilled a low effort just wide of the far post. Moments later, Leyre Bastyr fizzed a fierce ball across the box but nobody in a red shirt could claim a vital touch.
Haringey’s first shot on goal came with 18 minutes played, Jonea Peters blocked Francesca Cagetti’s attempted clearance before shooting straight at Wilson in the Orient goal. At the other end, Le Marchand curled an effort inches wide, before Egle Trezzi’s shot dipped away from the far post.
Having seen a few chances go amiss, the O’s finally doubled their lead on 22 minutes. After coming close moments before, the ball fell to Trezzi who placed her shot low into the bottom right corner from just inside the penalty area.
Six minutes later, Orient added a third after a fine flowing move down the left side. Lisa Holmback played a wonderful pass into Le Marchand, she pulled the ball back to Xidhas who scored her first goal of the season with a controlled effort which squirmed beneath Haringey goalkeeper Lynda Dunphy.
The O’s then turned on the style towards the end of the first half, scoring their fourth and fifth goals in the space of a minute. Cagetti netted her first goal of the season from an angle with a fierce strike which went in off the upright, before Le Marchand teed up Stryhalova whose close-range header trickled into the bottom right corner.
However, the visitors were not finished there and notched a sixth goal a minute before the break. Bastyr burst forward with a dangerous run down the left, Le Marchand took the ball on and saw her shot blocked before curling the rebound in at the near post to give Orient a 6-0 lead at half time.
Following the break, Orient grabbed a seventh goal on the 54th minute when Le Marchand bagged her brace. After taking on her marker with a tricky run down the left, Orient’s top scorer skimmed a low shot in off the inside of the near post to inflict further misery on Haringey.
With a hunger for more goals, the O’s added an eighth two minutes later. Hirst played a perfectly weighted ball for Stryhalova who curved her run before firing beyond Dunphy from inside the penalty area.
With the points secured Orient made their first change of the night on 58 minutes, with goalscorer Cagetti being replaced by Kathryn Canavan at centre back. Soon after Xidhas and Hirst, who had impressed on their first full starts, made way for Makesha MacFarlane and Ella Meadowcroft respectively.
With fresh legs on the pitch, the O’s continued to push for further goals. Stryhalova was denied a hat-trick by Dunphy who stood firm to block the shot, before Meadowcroft watched her effort come back off the post.
Orient dominated the closing stages of the match, and were unlucky not to add to their tally for the evening. MacFarlane had shown superb pace since her introduction and twice came close to opening her account for the first team.
Both Le Marchand and Stryhalova were denied hat-tricks, before Canavan headed wide as the referee’s whistle confirmed three more points and a second consecutive clean sheet for the O’s.
Speaking after the match, captain Danielle Griffiths said: “I think we started a bit slowly but we grew into the game. A very good end to the first half and a quick start to the second half to get the goals and see out the game. Clean sheets are always good from my perspective. The way we passed the ball around, we were doing one-two’s around players, certainly getting the ball on the floor which we havn’t done so much until this week.”
Asked if back-to-back league wins gives the team confidence going into the FA Cup this weekend, Griffiths said: “Absolutely, the FA Cup is always exciting anyway so we shouldn’t need too much more motivation but coming off the back of two wins is always a great confidence booster.”
After an impressive display, Kayleigh Xidhas talked about marking her first start with a goal: “It was really good, I was surprised to be honest with you but I was really happy to get on the scoresheet and to be playing. I was really nervous and anxious but once I started playing and getting used to the game I felt better.”
Orient’s next match sees them travel to Ipswich Town Ladies in the SSE Women’s FA Cup First Round this Sunday, with kick off scheduled for 2pm.