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 4-2 at home by Leyton Orient WFC on Sunday.
Defeat means the hosts drop into the plate competition, as head coach Nikki Baker 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 10 minutes when Jess McKay latched on to a good ball and rifled her shot into the top corner.
Orient responded well to going behind and came close on two occasions, Hayley Barton striking the crossbar and Sarka Stryhalova narrowly missing the target.
They were level prior to break as Sophie Le Marchand met Barton’s cross to finish well, while Orient were then ahead, Belen Ripoll Douton tapping the ball home at the back post.
The hosts 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 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: “I am so disappointed in our performance.
“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
Luton host Haringey Borough Women on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.