Boro suffer narrow defeat at home to League One leaders Leyton Orient

James Dunne makes a tackle

James Dunne makes a tackle - Credit: Archant

STEVENAGE fell to their third defeat of the season going down 1-0 at home to Sky Bet League One leaders Leyton Orient at the Lamex Stadium this afternoon.

Luke Freeman runs with the ball

Luke Freeman runs with the ball - Credit: Archant

Os’ striker Kevin Lisbie, who once scored a hat-trick for Charlton Athletic against Liverpool at Anfield, headed home the only goal of the game.

Michael Doughty in action for Stevenage

Michael Doughty in action for Stevenage - Credit: Archant

The defining moment of the encouonter came just before the half-hour mark.

Former St Albans City loanee Moses Odubajo found space to cross from the right and the experienced Lisbie swooped to meet the ball at the near post.

Orient started brightly forcing a first minute corner, which came to nothing, and the visiting fans were quick off the mark too.

They chanted Westley out after a mis-placed Stevenage pass, however the Boro faithful replied with “There’s only one Graham Westley”, who responded by applauding the home support.

On the field James Dunne was booked for a challenge in the middle of the park on Frenchman Romain Vincelot.

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Dani Lopez tried his luck with a cheeky lob from 25 yards which sailed over, while at the other end David Mooney headed Nathan Clarke’s delivery from the left off target.

Clarke, the away side’s skipper, picked up a booking for tripping Robin Shroot and from the following set-piece Luke Freeman’s cross was glanced wide by debutant Peter Hartley.

New loan signing from QPR Michael Doughty showed some bite with three early midfield challenges and showed competence on the ball.

Lisbie then struck the opener and shortly after his boot connected with Jon Ashton’s face forcing the skipper off the field briefly with a bloody lip.

As the half headed to its conclusion Lopez hooked one effort off target and James Lloyd somehow headed wide at the far post for the Os, with home keeper Chris Day having been impeded.

The start of the second half saw Dean Cox smash a low drive just wide of Day’s right-hand post on 48 minutes and 10 minutes later Orient were denied a penalty as Darius Charles tangled with Odubadjo in the box.

Frustration grew for Boro as passes and crosses failed to find their intended targets.

Lisbie was sent clear just after the hour-mark, he tried to take the ball around Day and went down under the challenge, but was booked for diving.

Hard-working forward Oumare Tounkara was taken off by Westley for Rory Deacon after the hour mark, Charles moved up front with Freeman dropping to left back and Deacon in front of him.

Charles looked a handful in attack and on one occasion was through on the left, his effort was deflected for a corner on 73 minutes.

Freeman’s set-piece was met by Hartley who headed against the bar with the ball bouncing down on the goal-line.

As Boro looked to level substitute Greg Tansey played a fine ball from the middle wide to Shroot, he teed up Tansey who stung the hands of Jones with a powerful drive, the keeper parried, Charles was on to it, but was offside.

Lisbie teed up Cox who from 20 yards cracked an effort high over the bar against the advertising board.

Boro’s afternoon was summed up when Marcus Haber won a tackle, but the ball span away leading to an Orient attack which ended with Cox’s cross-shot being turned over by Day.

As the clock ticked down Boro’s last chance again saw Freeman break from the middle of the park.

He picked out Charles, his cross fell to Deacon who was blocked, but the ball dropped to Tansey who smashed a snap-shot over.

With that went Boro’s hopes of avoiding their third defeat from three this season.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Day, Ashton (c), Dunne, Charles, Freeman, Smith (Tansey 72mins), Tounkara (Deacon 65 mins), Lopez (Haber 75 mins), Doughty, Hartley, Shroot.

Subs: Arnold, Hills, Burrow, Heslop.

Leyton Orient (4-3-3): Jones, Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry (Sawyer ), Cox, James (Bartley 79mins), Lisbie (Batt 88 mins), Mooney, Odubajo, Clarke. Subs: Larkins, Sawyer, Lee, Lasimant, Gorman.

Att: 3,262

Ref: B Malone