Leyton Orient Women’s first team threw away a two goal lead in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Mile End Stadium.
Goals from Jasmine Campbell and Ellie Davies – including a wonder strike from the midfielder – looked to have given the home side victory, until Naomi Cole rescued a point for table-topping Crawley Wasps.
This was a highly anticipated clash with both teams in hot form. The O’s were missing Captain Danielle Griffiths’ leadership, and prior to to this game, the one goal they had conceded in the league was against the visitors in the reverse fixture.
The visitors started brightly, and almost scored when Nicholle Smith’s cross narrowly missed the oncoming Lauren Callaghan. Moments later, Smith was involved again. A poor clearance from the rushing O’s keeper Naomi Ogunde led the ball fell to fall to Smith but she failed to capitalise and fired straight at Ogunde.
Orient’s first opportunity of the game came from Welsh midfielder Ellie Davies. A low cross from Sophie Le Marchand rebounded to Davies and the shot was deflected wide. The opening goal came after 30 minutes, when Hayley Barton played through full back Fran Cagetti. The cross was headed in by Jasmine Campbell and looped over Marie Gillstroem in the Wasps’ goal.
Crawley looked to bounce back, and a cross into the unmarked Smith was scrambled out for a corner by Barton. Smith’s corner was dealt with poorly and Holly Walker powered a header into the Orient net.
Midway through the second half, The O’s regained the lead after a poor clearance from Jade Elphick fell into the path of Ellie Davies and she thundered a shot in off the bar from 30 yards out. It was big smiles all round after the Welsh Maestro’s lengthy injury absence. Moments later, Davies scored her second of the game. Hayley Barton’s chipped cross found Davies at the back post and her low shot was deflected past Gillstroem.
Orient should have sealed the points, as Sophie Le Marchand’s low cross found Belen Ripoll Douton, from two yards out, but she shot straight at Gillstroem. The ball rebounded out to Campbell and she placed it wide.
The O’s legs were tiring and Crawley’s pressure was mounting. With 10 minutes remaining, Wasps salvaged a way back into the game. At the death, Crawley quickly countered, a misdirected through ball was cleared in the direction of Cole and she placed the ball into an empty net.
Next up for Orient Women’s is London Corinthians away at Samuel Montagu Centre on Sunday.