The O’s women’s team return to action with a tough trip to league leaders Crawley Wasps Ladies in the FA Women’s National League this Sunday.
Orient were without a game last weekend after their fixture away at Cambridge United Women was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Chris Brayford’s side go into this match sitting fourth in South East Division One with 21 points having won six, drawn three and lost three of their 12 matches this season.
A victory would see them reclaim third-place with Actonians not playing, while moving to within a point of second-placed Billericay Town who are in cup action this weekend.
February is a hectic month for the O’s as they juggle league games with two cup semi-finals, they will be hoping to end January on a high and boost confidence for the weeks ahead.
Crawley Wasps have been in scintillating form this season, topping the division with 27 points having won all nine of their league matches.
They have recorded a staggering goal difference of 41 however, they have yet to play a league game in 2019 with their previous five matches coming in cup competition.
Despite this great form, Wasps’ suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend as they were narrowly beaten 2-1 at home to Chichester City Ladies in the County Cup.
Their last league outing was a 9-0 home victory against Denham United Ladies on 25th November, with six different players getting their names on the scoresheet.
Orient’s defence will need to be resolute against a clinical Crawley strike force. They are boosted by the return of left-back Leyre Bastyr, who is equally effective in both the attacking and defensive phases.
Meanwhile, the O’s possess plenty of creativity and scoring ability in attack but must be ruthless when chances come their way.
As for Crawley, captain Naomi Cole has experience of the Women’s Super League and netted in the previous meeting between these sides back in 2017. Cole will be hoping to lead her side back to winning ways as they search for their tenth consecutive league victory.
A Look at the Stats
- Orient have won three and drawn one of their four away league games.
- The O’s have scored in each of their previous seven matches.
- They have never lost to Crawley Wasps in a competitive fixture.
- Crawley have won 19 of their 20 matches in league and cup this season.
- Wasps have netted two or more goals in their previous seven league games.
- They are on a run of four consecutive clean sheets in the league.
Orient and Crawley Wasps went head-to-head in the London and South East Regional Women’s Football League Cup final on Sunday May 14th 2017.
Jasmine Campbell broke the deadlock for Orient with a close-range header, before Sophie Le Marchand coolly doubled the O’s advantage.
Captain Naomi Cole pulled a goal back for Crawley with a neat finish, before Hayley Barton secured a 3-1 victory for Orient with a spectacular free-kick from the left touchline.
Both teams competed in the same division with Orient claiming the league title that season too; the players will be relishing the chance to re-kindle their rivalry this weekend.
Ahead of the game, O’s captain Danielle Griffiths recognises the challenge ahead but fondly recalls the history between the two teams:
“Crawley are currently unbeaten in the league, so this is one of the toughest tests we have faced so far. We are looking forward to reigniting the rivalry that we shared a couple of seasons ago when we battled for promotion and shared a cup final. Thankfully we won both!
“However, Crawley are a very different side to that we faced a couple of years ago with the majority of the players being new this season so there are lots of unknowns. It should make for a very good game.”
Coming to the Game?
If you are making the journey south, the match will take place this Sunday 27th January at Oakwood FC, RH10 8AT with kick-off at 14:00.