The O's women staged an emphatic demolition of Enfield Town to win 9-0 and earn their first victory in the FA Women’s Premier League at Mile End on Sunday.
Both sides had succeeded in qualifying for the FA WPL Cup last weekend, but Orient’s focus was firmly on collecting their first three points of the league campaign on home turf.
Manager Chris Brayford made two changes to the side that started at Luton in the previous match, as Ella Meadowcroft and Chanel Richards came in for Sárka Stryhalova and Belen Ripoll Douton to lead the attack.
Supporters had barely managed to take their seats when Orient came bursting out of the blocks with Ella Meadowcroft and Chanel Richards combining nicely before the latter spun her marker and fired beyond Kelly Cooper in the Enfield goal after 30 seconds.
After an electric start, the O’s wasted no time in doubling their lead in the third minute. Meadowcroft chipped the ball into the path of Sophie Le Marchand on the left, who controlled and cut inside before drilling a low shot in off the near post.
Orient had a spring in their step, continuing to press forward in search of further goals. Ellie Davies, who was instrumental in the midfield, produced an exquisite pass for Le Marchand who couldn’t quite get a shot away.
However, the O’s did extend their lead on eight minutes in spectacular fashion. Captain Danielle Griffiths whipped a beautiful corner in from the left side which looped above everyone in the area and over the line.
It was a relentless opening quarter of an hour from Orient, with three excellent goals the result of some fluent build up play. Enfield faced a huge task ahead of them and were yet to register a shot on goal, illustrating the extent to which Orient had dominated proceedings.
On 15 minutes, the O’s were out of sight when Egle Trezzi added a fourth. Le Marchand latched onto Hayley Barton’s corner only to see her effort cleared off the line, before Trezzi pounced to smash home from inside the area.
On 26 minutes, the visitors registered their first effort on goal as Cally Brown saw her shot comfortably saved by Orient keeper Naomi Ogunde. At the other end, Griffiths stung the palms of Cooper with a long range free-kick.
The O’s continued to manage the game well, controlling the tempo and restricting the space for Enfield to work in. They countered at pace once again on 35 minutes, with Meadowcroft making good movement to receive a pass from Richards but she could not get enough power behind her shot to trouble Cooper as the O’s went into the interval with a 4-0 lead.
Orient began the second half strongly and continued their impressive scoring just five minutes in. Davies saw her half volley tipped over for a corner, from which Richards bagged her brace as she smashed home from close range.
Chances began to flow once more, with Meadowcroft doing well to beat the offside trap before firing straight at Cooper. Enfield then had their best chance of the match when Lisa Kline’s strike went just wide of the post via a deflection.
On the hour mark, Lisa Holmbeck and Hannah Porter came on to replace Richards and Trezzi in a double change for the hosts. Moments later, Barton saw a swerving effort from the right cleared off the line before Kathryn Canavan made way for Vanessa Wilson in the O’s third and final change.
Orient were far from finished in front of goal however, and notched again on 65 minutes. Meadowcroft found Davies whose well weighted through ball played in Barton who fired her effort home.
On 72 minutes, Orient scored a seventh courtesy of Meadowcroft who thoroughly deserved to get on the scoresheet. After some great work from Leyre Bastyr down the left, Le Marchand squared the ball for Meadowcroft who slotted home.
Four minutes later, Le Marchand made it eight when she ran onto Holmbeck’s delightful flick, rounding the keeper before calmly finishing into the bottom corner.
Orient’s victory could have been greater had Le Marchand’s close range volley not been ruled out for offside, but the scoring was complete on the 82nd minute when Meadowcroft grabbed her second goal, and Orient’s ninth, heading in from Bastyr’s cross to round off a very comfortable day at the office for the O’s.
Speaking after the match, striker and goalscorer Ella Meadowcroft said; “I think it was a great performance all round. I think we needed to send a message to the league that we’re here, we mean business and we need to be taken seriously. So, to go out today and score so many goals against a good side in the league it really shows that we’re going to come out, hopefully keep winning and show them we’re here, we’ve just been promoted, but we’re ready.”
After a fine display in the Orient midfield Ellie Davies said; “I think we came at them really quick and with high intensity and scored four pretty rapid goals. We kept it tight from there, pushed on in the second half and it was a good team performance.”
With their first win of the league season in the bag, Orient will be looking to build on this impressive display when they travel to Ipswich Town on Sunday.