REPORT: Leyton Orient 2 Stevenage 0
- Credit: Archant
Boro lose by two goals, but it could easily have been more in their League 1 game at Orient
Stevenage handed Orient all three points with some woeful first-half defending on Tuesday evening – and they were lucky to concede just the two goals.
The home side were 2-0 up after 23 minutes and missed a number of other wonderful chances to extend their lead as they moved back into the automatic promotion places.
For Boro it was a second defeat in the space of four days, though this performance lacked some of the vibrancy that they had showed against Rotherham United on Saturday.
Orient opened the scoring when Moses Odubajo, who had set up Chris Dagnall in the Boro box, took advantage of poor marking and a slip by a defender to hit the back of the net after Chris Day had saved Dagnall’s low effort.
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The low point of the match followed just seven minutes later, this time with Luke Jones receiving a pass across the face of goal from Jon Ashton only to then allow Dave Mooney to pinch the ball and set up Dagnall for goal number two.
It was enough to leave Boro fans screaming in frustration – their fate to stay up being hard enough without gifting the opposition silly goals.
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In fact Stevenage were poor at the back for much of the game. They started with a 4-4-2 formation with Jimmy Smith at right-back, but when he moved into his more formidable midfield position, Peter Hartley moved in slightly to make a back three and he was left marking two players on too many occasions.
Orient had further chances with Odubajo firing low between Hartley’s legs only to see Day make the save. Dagnall then directed a header over the bar when he should have put it away.
It took Stevenage a good 30 minutes to register a good chance of their own, and it came from the boot of Smith who hit a cracker of a shot goalwards only for Eldin Jakupovic to get his body behind it.
Dean Parrett then struck a free-kick at goal, but it was too central and the Orient keeper had it covered.
Both sides had chances at the start of the second half. For Orient Dean Cox, who found pockets of space all evening, broke forward and fired straight at Day from distance, and in retaliation, Smith fired into the turf with the ball bouncing wide of goal for the visitors.
Boro made a double change with John Mousinho and Filipe Morais making way for Darius Charles and Roarie Deacon, but although the former gave Stevenage an urgency in the final third the latter was skinned by a winger within a minute, was then booked and picked up a further verbal warning before being withdrawn 15 minutes after he had come on.
There were further chances for both sides, but Boro rarely looked like threatening until substitute Michael Doughty’s low drive was turned around the post by Jacupovic deep into injury time.
The defeat leaves Boro six points from safety; and although they have games in hand, they count for nothing if the points do not come.
Stevenage will be hoping they do when they host Peterborough United on Saturday.
Leyton Orient: Jacupovic 6, Sawyer 5, Vincelot 6, Cuthbert 6, Baudry 6, Cox 8, James 7 (Ness 83), Mooney 6, Odubajo 8, Clarke 6, Dagnall 8 (Batt 76). Subs: Lisbie, Larkins, Lasimant, Bartley, Simpson.
Stevenage: Day 6, Ashton 4, Jones 5, Hartley 4, Smith 6, Morais 5 (Deacon 63 (Doughty 78)), Mousinho 5 (Charles 63), Parrett 7, Freeman 6, Zoko 5, Akins 4. Subs: Arnold, Burrow, Obeng, N’Guessan.
Ref: T Kettle
Att: 4171 (333 away)