The O’s women’s team were convincingly beaten 4-0 by Enfield Town Ladies in the FA Women’s National League on Sunday afternoon.
Molly Peters’ brace, Claire Ford’s header and Lily Bruno’s strike off the bench secured a resounding victory for the hosts against Orient who were out of sorts on the day.
There were three changes to the side which began the 4-1 victory over Norwich City Ladies at the Breyer Group Stadium on March 24th.
Kathryn Canavan replaced skipper Danielle Griffiths, Rebecca Hirst came in for Hayley Barton while Lisa Fulgence got the nod ahead of Suaila Cardoso Queni upfront.
Orient got the game underway on an overcast afternoon at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, kicking from left to right in their all red strip.
The visitors forced an early corner that was cleared only as far as Egle Trezzi, who volleyed into the arms of Enfield goalkeeper Caoimhe O’Reilly. The O’s were forced to do some defending shortly after when Hannah Porter denied Peters with a last-ditch tackle.
However, Peters wasn’t to be denied with quarter of an hour played. Ailish Straver curled a well-weighted pass for Peters to chase, she faced up to Naomi Ogunde in the Orient goal before lifting the ball calmly into the net giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
After falling behind, the O’s were struggling to find a passing rhythm while chances were proving hard to come by. Sophie Le Marchand’s deflected strike almost fell kindly to Hirst, but O’Reilly was quickest to react and slam the door in Orient’s faces.
Although, their best chance of the game arrived on 38 minutes. Trezzi’s shot ricocheted into the path of Le Marchand in the box who opted for placement, but she was denied by the outstretched leg of O’Reilly.
It was a disappointing first half for the O’s who looked below par compared to recent performances. They were struggling to keep hold of the ball and win duels, while creativity was lacking in the final third.
Enfield got the game restarted and doubled their lead after three minutes. Peters drove towards the by-line on the right side of the box, standing the ball up towards the back stick where it clipped the woodwork and dropped into the net.
Looking for a lifeline, Orient introduced Phoebie Eshen for her first team debut off the bench with Hirst making way. The O’s had the ball in the net moments later when Le Marchand charged down O’Reilly’s attempted clearance, but she was penalised for handball.
Luckily, Orient escaped being reduced to ten players when Canavan brought down Peters who would have been through on goal. The Enfield faithful were calling for a red card, but the referee deemed the challenge worthy of a yellow.
On 65 minutes, the hosts put the result beyond any reasonable doubt when they bagged a third goal from the resulting free-kick. Ford rose highest to connect with the teasing delivery, glancing the ball precisely into the bottom corner past a helpless Ogunde.
With fifteen minutes to play, the O’s made a double substitution with Connie Montiel-McCann and Chloe Christison-McNee replacing Canavan and Trezzi. With nothing to lose, they showed glimpses of promising play but were unable to break down a solid Enfield defence.
It could have gotten worse for Orient with ten minutes to play. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by Francesca Cagetti, substitute Bruno pounced on the loose ball, but her effort was bravely blocked by Ogunde.
At the second time of asking, Bruno made no mistake in grabbing Enfield’s fourth goal of the afternoon. She shook off Porter to advance into the box, striking straight at Ogunde who couldn’t get a strong enough hand to the ball to prevent it from trickling over the line.
Orient lost Porter to injury in the final exchanges which compiled a miserable afternoon for the O’s who slipped to their first defeat in five league matches. It was a bad day at the office where they were second best in every department.
The O’s have the chance to redeem themselves when they return to FA Women’s National League action with a trip to Actonians Ladies next Sunday 14th April, with kick-off at 14:00.