The O’s women’s team will be looking to maintain their title challenge when they welcome Ipswich Town Ladies to Mile End Stadium in the Women’s Premier League on Sunday.
After an excellent first half of the season, the O’s started the New Year with a 2-1 victory over Denham United, before losing by the same scoreline to Milton Keynes Dons in their previous outing.
Orient were due to host Ipswich last weekend, however bad weather led to the match being postponed and subsequently rescheduled for this coming Sunday.
Chris Brayford’s side occupy second place in the WPL South East Division One, with 28 points from 14 games. They have won nine, drawn one, and lost four matches, boasting the best goal difference in the division (30).
Orient trail league leaders AFC Wimbledon by five points and sit just a point ahead of MK Dons in third place. The O’s will go into the game knowing that only a win will do in their attempts to stay hot on the heels of the table toppers.
As for visitors Ipswich, they come to the capital having gone five league matches without defeat. They have bagged 22 goals and conceded four in this time, whilst scoring in each of their six away league matches this season.
Ipswich sit fourth in the league with 23 points from 11 games. They have won seven, drawn two, lost two and have the second best goal difference in the division (23).
A win for the visitors will ensure that they keep up the pressure on the teams in the top three, but anything less could see them lose ground depending on other results.
Orient will need top scorer Sophie Le Marchand to have a sharp eye for goal on the day. Le Marchand’s commitment and work rate are second to none, whilst her pace and trickery can be used to good effect in the wide areas.
Also, goalkeeper Naomi Ogunde has grown in confidence as the season has progressed. She will need to be assertive and decisive between the sticks against an attacking away side.
For Ipswich, Sophie Welton has netted five goals in her last two league games, four of which came in the 9-0 win over Haringey Borough Women in their last fixture.
Orient and Ipswich have met twice already this season in the league and FA Cup respectively, with the O’s travelling to Suffolk on both occassions.
In September’s league meeting, first half goals from Lisa Holmback and Chanel Richards secured all three points for the O’s in a 2-0 victory.
However, Ipswich came out on top when the teams met for the FA Cup First Round in November. The hosts took a 2-0 lead, before two goals in the last four minutes saw Orient force extra-time where they went on to lose 4-2 in a thrilling cup tie.
Captain Danielle Griffiths gave her thoughts ahead of the match saying: “We are expecting an Ipswich opposition who are strong across the park and full of confidence given their recent run of form. With both sides having taken a victory each in the previous two meetings, it should make for an interesting encounter. I’m hoping we come out of the blocks quickly and all of the girls show the belief, desire, and types of performances we know we are capable of to give us the best possible shot of claiming three valuable points.”
Coming to the Game?
If you can, please come down and show your support for the O’s this Sunday in what promises to be an entertaining top four clash. The match will take place at Mile End Stadium, Burdett Road, London, E3 4HL, with kick off scheduled for 2pm.