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Actonians 5 Leyton Orient 1
Actonians maintained their top spot in the FAWPL South East Division One after a fine team performance to defeat Leyton Orient 5-1 at Bedfont Sports FC.
With 18 goals scored in their opening two games, the fluent and inventive attacking ability of the West Londoners is obvious, but the leaders showed excellent defensive resolve throughout as well against a lively and hard working Orient side who had plenty of possession and pressure of their own, but were undone by clinical finishing.
An even opening ten minutes gave little indication of what was to follow, the hosts grabbing three quick goals. On eleven minutes, a defensive error gave Alessandra Barreca a close range finish. Four minutes later, the same player drove home a loose ball with a low first time shot from the edge of the area. Jessica Byrne added a superb third with a turn and lofted shot in the top left corner on 19 minutes to stun the visitors.
To their great credit, Orient responded strongly to the triple blow, pressing Actonians back for much of the rest of the half. Sophie Le Marchand went very close to reducing the score on 24 minutes firing just wide, then providing a cross for a Jasmine Campbell header but the home defence was so solid that keeper Paige Horsnell had barely a save to make before the break.
Actonians were boosted in attack by the introduction of Katrina Duncan-Marshalleck and her cool finish from a perfect Byrne through ball just before the hour foiled any hopes of an Orient comeback. Byrne had already hit the bar with a free kick before Sin Sooriyakumar added a fifth with a powerful finish high in the net after outpacing the back line.
Orient still had plenty of dangerous attacks themselves with Campbell firing a shot just over and Horsnell making a fine save from sub Sarka Stryhalova. The visitors deservedly got on the scoresheet when Egle Trezzi drove home a bouncing ball from the edge of the area with a very well hit shot on 72 minutes.
Despite some further pressure and a Le Marchand shot which flew across the face of goal. it was Actonians who went closest to extending the lead late on, sub keeper Vanessa Wilson tipping another powerful Sooriyakumar shot against the bar and away to safety,
Flying high like the Heathrow arrivals and departures overhead, Actonians' play on the day was a joy to watch and does every player and their coaching staff great credit. Orient, with a fine opening day result away at Cambridge, were far from disgraced and will no doubt relish playing at their home 'fortress' in the coming weeks.
Paige Horsnell, Catherine Murphy, Claire Hollingsworth, Sinead Friel, Hanna Olofsson, Alessandra Barreca, Caterina Kensbock, Simone Wan, Jessica Byrne, Mariko Engels, Sin Sooriyakoomar. Subs: Jodie Regan, Katrina Duncan-Marshalleck, Micaela Lopes.
Naomi Ogunde, Francesca Cagetti, Connie Montiel-McCann, Kathryn Canavan, Egle Trezzi, Jasmine Campbell, Belen Ripoll-Douton, Leyre Bastyr, Sophie Le Marchand, Pinja Piira, Vanessa Wilson. Subs: Olympia Diamond, Ella Meadowcroft, Sarka Stryhalova, Natalie Colangelo, Chanel Richards.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Kathryn Canavan tries to hold off the attentions of Katrina Duncan-Marshalleck
(middle) Connie Montiel-McCann clears away from Jessica Byrne
(bottom) Caterina Kensbock is taken on by Sophie Le Marchand
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