O’s Go Down Fighting

Leyton Orient 1-2 Chichester and Selsey

By Brendan Pitcher

Above: Midfield tussle for the ball between Leyton Orient (red) and Chichester and Selsey yesterday. Photo: Paul Hynes.

Leyton Orient’s FA Cup run came to an end yesterday after they were narrowly defeated by a Chichester and Selsey side from the division above at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Katherine Long equalised for The O’s after Sophie Phelps had given the visitors an early lead. Chichester then restored their advantage before half time through Tash Wild. Orient gave it everything they had in the second half, and even missed a spot kick, however it wasn’t to be as they bowed out at the Third Round stage.

Chris Brayford made one change from the side that comfortably defeated Hounslow last weekend. Skye McNally picked up an injury in that one and was replaced in the starting lineup by Cheryl Anderson.

Playing at The Breyer Group Stadium for the first time in over a year, Orient adapted to their new surroundings pretty quickly. They had the ball in the net four minutes in, after Long converted Lauren Heria’s through ball, though her celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s flag.

Ten minutes later, Chichester took the lead. Naomi Ogunde could only parry Megan Fox’s free kick into the path of Phelps, who turned home to give her side an early advantage.

Not fazed by that early setback, Brayford’s side responded immediately. ‘Keeper Issy Foster flapped at Egle Trezzi’s dinked ball in, which allowed Nyara Denny to steal away with it, the O’s winger then prodded it towards goal where it was met by Long who converted from virtually on the goal line.

Above: Leyton Orient celebrate Katherine Long’s goal. Photo: Paul Hynes.

Long could have had another mid-way through the first period when her deflected strike grazed the woodwork and went behind.

But it was to be Chichester who scored next, in an end to end first half. Gemma Simmonds broke through the O’s defence and struck one low against the post where, luckily for the visitors, Wild was on hand to prod home from close range.

Knowing that a defeat would spell the end of their season, Orient came out the traps with a renewed sense of purpose in the second half.

They won a penalty in the 49th minute when Long was brought down in the box. Midfielder Réa Laudat stepped up to take the spot kick, but fired her effort well over, much to the disappointment of everyone in red.

The O’s almost levelled on the hour mark when some neat interplay between Heria and Denny led to the latter producing a curled effort that forced Foster into a superb acrobatic save.

Above: Combative action between the two sides yesterday. Photo: Paul Hynes.

In the 67th minute Brayford made his first substitution, with Laudat the player to make way for Michelle Young.

Orient continued to dominate the majority of the possession but failed to create anything clear. This forced Brayford into another switch, as Scarlett Smith replaced Anderson in an alteration that saw the O’s move to a three at the back formation.

The home side were once again denied by the woodwork with ten minutes remaining, as Young’s cross/shot was tipped onto the post by Foster.

Smith’s presence up top allowed the O’s a different option in attack, and she came closest out of anyone to levelling the scores with five minutes to play. Trezzi lifted a ball into the box where the forward was waiting, but she could only loop a header agonisingly wide of the far left hand post.

Brayford rolled the dice in the final minute as he brought on Kayleigh Xidhas for Long, however it was to no avail as Orient’s stop start season came to an end on an frustrating afternoon in E10. 

Teams: LEYTON ORIENT: Ogunde, Lee, Kerr, Bradley, Anderson (Smith 76′), Trezzi, Heria, Denny, Laudat (Young 67′), Barton, Long (Xidhas 90′). Subs not used: Feltham, Zahui, Cannon.

Scorer: Long 17. 

CHICHESTER AND SELSEY: Foster, Burke, Capel-Watson, Phelps, Howden, Wild, Simmonds, Fox, Staple, Yeates, Lake. Substitutes: Alexandre, Saunders, Fleishman, Blakely

Scorers: Phelps 13, Wild 38.

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