05 September 2017 08:41
Following a faultless start to their league campaign, Luton Town Ladies couldn’t transfer that form into the determining round of the Women’s Premier League Cup as they were beaten 2-4 at home to Leyton Orient WFC.
Consequently, the hosts drop into the plate whilst the visitors progress to the cup and Head Coach Nikki Baker and her team will be keen to ensure this doesn’t derail an otherwise excellent opening to the season.
It was The Hatters who made the early running and went in front inside ten minutes when Jess McKay latched onto a good ball and rifled her shot into the top corner.
Orient responded well to going behind and came close on two occasions, with Hayley Barton striking the crossbar and Sarka Stryhalova narrowly missing the target. They were level prior to halftime as Sophie Le Marchand met Barton’s cross to finish and proceeded to overturn the deficit swiftly; Belen Ripoll Douton tapping the ball home at the back post for 1-2.
The home side were resurgent after the interval and the Orient rearguard had to stave off several dangerous attacks. Eventually they were breached when goalkeeper Naomi Ogunde diverted Nicola Henman’s cross into her own net whilst under pressure from Joanne Rutherford.
Parity wasn’t restored for long, however, as six minutes later Orient were ahead once more. Ellie Davies met Le Marchand’s delivery to put the away side in front for the second time. They didn’t relinquish their advantage this time as despite a fairly testing end to the contest, the victory was wrapped up when substitute Ella Meadowcroft was fed by Le Marchand and slotted past the keeper.
Baker said after the game "I am so disappointed in our performance today, we know we are much better than that and it wasn't good enough across the board. We now need to focus on bouncing back and retaining our good league form next week".
Considering the two clubs’ contrasting starts to the league season, the result will come as a bit of a shock as Orient emerge with the first win of the new year. But there was still encouraging aspects of The Hatters’ display and nothing to suggest the girls can’t make an instant recovery from this cup disappointment against Haringey Borough Women next Sunday at Stockwood Park, KO 2pm.