The O’s women’s team are looking to close the gap on the top two when they travel to Cambridge United Women in the FA Women’s National League this Sunday.
Orient occupy third place in South East Division One with 21 points having won six, drawn three and lost three of their 12 matches this season.
Victory would see the O’s move to within a point of second place Billericay Town and three points off leaders Crawley Wasps, both of whom are in cup action this weekend.
Chris Brayford’s side go into the game following a morale boosting 3-0 win over Luton Town Ladies at Mile End Stadium last Sunday.
Some good work from Sophie Le Marchand culminated in Grace Stewart diverting the ball into her own net to give Orient the lead on 21 minutes.
Chloe McNee scored an outrageous effort from just inside her own half before the break, leaving Camila Pescatore to secure the points with her first O’s goal on 65 minutes.
Trips to Cambridge and Crawley Wasps precede a hectic fixture schedule in February.
Orient will be determined to start as they mean to go on with three points this Sunday.
As for Cambridge, they are placed ninth in the division with 12 points having won three, drawn three and lost three of their nine games this season.
The U’s join Crawley Wasps in playing the least number of league matches (9) which is four less than Actonians and Denham United who have played the most. (13)
The home side are unbeaten since the turn of the year, earning four points from six available with one win and a draw.
Last time out, Cambridge saw off AFC Wimbledon Ladies 3-0 on home soil thanks to goals from Kelley Blanchflower, Jade Bell and Mollie Coupar.
A victory could see them leap as high as seventh place depending on Ipswich Town’s result and the subsequent goal difference.
Orient defender Hannah Porter returned at the heart of defence last weekend, having missed the O’s first match of the New Year. Porter provides reassurance and composure, while her physicality and aerial ability can be used to combat the Cambridge strike force.
Also, wide player Camila Pescatore will be pushing for a starting place after opening her account for the O’s last weekend. Her pace, confident dribbling and direct approach are guaranteed to cause problems for opposing defences.
Meanwhile, Cambridge striker Kelley Blanchflower, who scored twice during the reverse fixture in August, will be one source of danger for the O’s to contend with. Also, Mollie Coupar is looking to extend her scoring run to three consecutive matches.
A Look at the Stats
- Orient have scored in their previous seven consecutive matches.
- In fact, the last time they failed to score was against Cambridge in October.
- They have kept three clean sheets from their last five league matches.
- Cambridge have lost one of their eight home matches this season. (W6 D1 L1)
- The U’s have secured six clean sheets in those games.
- They have found the net in seven of their nine league matches.
Orient and Cambridge have met twice already this season with the latter emerging victorious on both occasions.
First, the O’s welcomed Cambridge to Mile End for the Bank Holiday weekend in August. Becky Shephard added to Kelley Blanchflower’s brace in a 3-0 victory for the U’s.
The FA Women’s National League Cup pitted the sides against each other once more on 28th October. Emma Jenkins’ hat-trick ensured Cambridge progressed by the same score-line.
Ahead of the game, Orient skipper Danielle Griffiths acknowledged the league’s competitive nature and their desire to avenge past results:
“The game on Sunday is the start of a tough run of games where we are going to need to be at our best in order to secure three points. Also, there is not much between us and the teams around us in the league, so we need to put space between us in third place and the chasing pack. We came away disappointed the last time we went to Cambridge in the cup and are desperate to rectify that this week.”
Coming to the Game?
The match will take place at Mildenhall Town FC, Recreation Way, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7HG with kick-off scheduled for 14:00.