Chris Brayford’s side return to league action having progressed to the first round of the Women’s FA Cup last weekend, with a 7-0 thrashing of Billericay Town at Brisbane Road in front of a great crowd.
Four goals from Sophie Le Marchand plus strikes from Chloe McNee, Egle Trezzi and Vanessa Wilson ensured the O’s cruised into the next round in style.
Orient’s attention now turns swiftly back to their league exploits. Since September, the O’s have put together an impressive five match winning run to establish themselves as the FA Women’s Premier League’s surprise package.
The O’s were top, but dropped to second place after AFC Wimbledon’s 2-1 win over Actonians on Wednesday night. However, three points on Sunday will see them leap-frog Wimbledon to regain top spot once again. Actonians come into the game in seventh with nine points from seven matches.
Ones to Watch
Orient carry plenty of attacking threat in their ranks, with top goal scorer Sophie Le Marchand hitting five goals in her last two matches. Also, new recruit Lisa Holmback has established a regular spot in the Orient midfield after several impressive displays since her debut back in September.
For Actonians, forward Alessandra Barreca scored twice against the O’s in the reverse fixture earlier this season and will look to be a thorn in the side of Orient’s defence once more.
League FormOrient’s last five matches: WWWWW (15 points from a possible 15)
Actonians’ last five matches: LWLLL (three points from a possible 15)
The two sides last met on the 27th August, the O’s first away fixture of the new campaign, with Actonians running out 5-1 winners in testing summer conditions. A brace from Alessandra Barreca and goals from Katrina Duncan, Jessica Byrne and Sinthujah Sooriyakumar did the damage before Egle Trezzi’s long-range consolation strike.
Stats and Facts
· Orient have scored 29 league goals this season and boast the best goal difference in the league, +22, with 16 points from a possible 21.
· They have scored four or more goals in four of their last five league matches.
· The O’s have kept five clean sheets in seven league matches, three of which came in consecutive weeks.
· Actonians went four games without scoring in league and cup prior to their match against Wimbledon in midweek, conceding eight goals in the process.
· However, they bagged 25 goals in their opening four league matches of the season.
Points of View
Having featured in all but one of Orient’s games this season, full back Leyre Bastyr has played an integral role on the left side of the O’s defence. She has shown attacking and defensive qualities in equal measure, becoming a regular name in the starting eleven.
Speaking to Rising East this week, Bastyr talked about what the team had learnt from the defeat to Actonians in August: “It was just a matter of being tight at the back and being aware of each other, individually as players but then defensively as a whole team. I think what we can take from that is communication, that seems like the thing that really got us down. I think it was just finding our feet early in the season, we did lose to them pretty early on, I think this time round we’ll be a lot better prepared.”
After five consecutive league victories, and progressing in two different cup competitions, Bastyr went on to talk about what she believes has contributed to this good form: “We have a couple of new, really great players especially in the midfield and up top as well. It’s just getting used to each other, some new formations that Chris has come up with, and being more comfortable. The games we have had since then have allowed us to get that going, also fitness wise.”
On what to expect from Actonians, Bastyr said: “I think they will have confidence, but they will have seen our results in past weeks and will be cautiously optimistic maybe. From what I remember they had some really good shots from outside the box, we need to be prepared and have the defensive mindset to stop them.”
On the prospect of playing at Brisbane Road again, Bastyr expressed her delight saying: “It’s all quite exciting isn’t it!? It helps with the mindset so much, you feel like the club is really behind you. It’s the first time I have been part of a club that allows us to play on such great pitches. I’m really excited!”
Bastyr encouraged fans to come down and support the team on Sunday saying: “If you are a fan of Leyton Orient it’s worth coming down on Sunday. We’ll put on a good show for sure, and you may end up becoming a fan of Leyton Orient Women as well!”