The O’s women’s team will be looking to progress through the FA Women’s National League Cup Determining Round when they take on Swindon Town Ladies this Sunday.
Orient make the trip to Swindon on the back of a disappointing 0-3 defeat to Cambridge United Women in South East Division One last weekend.
A goal in each half from Kelley Blanchflower, plus a Becky Shephard strike, subjected Orient to their first defeat of the season on a miserable afternoon at Mile End Stadium.
Despite this setback, the O’s will take inspiration from their performances across three cup competitions last season and hope to book their place in the First Round for the second consecutive year.
As for Swindon, they compete in the FA Women’s National League South West Division One after dropping down from the Southern Division at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
They began the new season with a 1-2 defeat to Southampton Saints Girls and Ladies on August 19th, leaving them in seventh place after the first round of fixtures.
Catherine Browning netted a quick-fire first half-brace for the Saints that cancelled out Polly New’s eighth minute header for Swindon.
Sunday’s clash will provide both teams with a chance of redemption after defeats in their previous league matches.
Orient will be pleased to welcome captain Danielle Griffiths back into the squad for the trip to Swindon this weekend. Griffiths is a natural leader whose commanding role at the heart of defence provides reassurance for those around her. She will play a key role in boosting morale amongst the players after the disappointment of last weekend.
Meanwhile, Swindon skipper Polly New netted Town’s first goal of the season in their 1-2 opening day defeat to Southampton Saints Girls and Ladies a fortnight ago. She will be hoping to add to that tally and ultimately lead her side into the First Round of the competition.
Previous Cup Journey:
During the 2017-18 season, the O’s reached the First Round of the FA Women’s National League Cup.
In the Determining Round, Orient travelled to face fellow South East Division One outfit Luton Town Ladies on September 3rd. Goals from Sophie Le Marchand, Belen Ripoll Douton, Ellie Davies and Ella Meadowcroft helped the O’s to a 4-2 victory in Bedfordshire.
As a result, the draw sent Orient to the Welsh capital to face Southern Division Cardiff City Ladies in the First Round on 29th October. Ella Powell added to Cori Williams’ brace to put the hosts 3-0 up before Leyre Bastyr netted a consolation for the O’s as they valiantly exited the competition with a 3-1 defeat.
Ahead of the match, winger Sophie Le Marchand talked about the hype surrounding cup football and what the team are looking to achieve in such competitions:
“There’s always a heightened level of excitement and buzz when it comes to playing in any kind of cup competition and that will be the same this season. I think this is because there’s an element of the unknown involved with playing against teams you don’t normally come across, or know much about, as well as the sense of anticipation that comes with potentially getting drawn against a really big club.
“Our targets are to take each game as it comes, to not be intimidated by any opposing team and to try and produce our best football on a regular basis. It would be magnificent to go on a long run in any cup and make a few giant killings along the way. We nearly did this last season, when we put on a fantastic display against Charlton on their patch, but just couldn’t quite cross the finishing line. This season, it would be great to go a step further and send a big team home!”
Le Marchand spoke about what the O’s are expecting from Swindon, plus how the team have responded to last weekend’s defeat:
“We are expecting a tough test against Swindon this weekend. We know that they are in the equivalent league to us in the South West and have also suffered defeat in the opening games of the season, but we are focusing predominantly on ourselves, knowing that at our best we are more than capable of beating Swindon.
“We have some key players who were absent on Sunday returning to the squad and we all have a point to prove after the Cambridge game, so we are extremely motivated to get back to winning ways and playing the kind of football we produced last season on a regular basis. I know that the team spirit amongst this group is unbelievable and we have been pushing each other this week to do some punishing fitness work in preparation for the game. We are angry about the manner of our defeat to Cambridge, but now it’s about transforming that anger into positive energy and using it wisely to ignite a cup campaign to remember.”
Coming to the Game?
If you are planning on making the journey to the South West this weekend, the match will take place this Sunday 2nd September at Fairford Town FC, Cinder Lane, Fairford, GL7 4AX with kick-off at 2pm.