Three late Orient goals spoil another promising performance from Stevenage

Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham - Credit: Archant

Stevenage travelled to East London in good heart after their late equaliser in the principality on Saturday – but it was to end in pain for the away team after a burst of three goals in the last 15 minutes for the Londoners saw their hopes of a good result extinguished.

The trio of strikes from an Orient team who capitalised on Boro’s inexperienced line-up that finished the game were harsh on Teddy Sheringham’s side, who yet again performed admirably in the opening 45 minutes of a game, only to be undone by a collection of bad luck, great play and an unfortunate slip.

In the opening minute Orient’s Bradley Pritchard fired high and wide from the kick off when he should have done better.

In a hectic start Brett Williams then fired a shot at Orient keeper Alex Cisak who did well to turn it past the post.

As play settled down it became clear that the home side were targeting Boro left back Okimo down their right flank, primarily through vice captain and summer signing Sean Clohessy who showed a desire to push forward from his right back slot to support the attack at every opportunity.


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Saturday’s hero Mark Hughes was soon into the game with his trademark blocks, before the game then fell into a series of hard fought challenges and scrappy passes. The attacking Clohessy then sent a tantalising cross into the box that left Day rooted to the line as Orient number ten Paul McCallum headed the ball back across the goal.

Cue celebrations from the home team and fans, but referee Sarginson was adamant the ball hadn’t crossed the line, even if, to many observers it did look like it had crossed over, and should have been given as a goal.

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Maybe Boro were due a modicum of luck, but it was cancelled out minutes later as Akinyemi turned and fired a powerful shot which clipped the underside of the bar before bouncing out.

The Boro then pushed forward and asked a few questions of Orient in what was surely their hardest spell against an opponent in the three league games the Eastenders have played this season, as the first 45 minutes ended scoreless.

A scrappy start to the second half saw both teams fail to find a rhythm early on, before Fraser Franks showed his worth to the side in attacking terms as he flighted the ball perfectly into the box – that saw Clohessey head the ball wide for a corner which came to nothing.

Williams then fired a powerful shot that Orient keeper Cisak did well to palm wide, as the game’s tempo started to rise.

But the first warning signs that the night would not end well for Boro came when Bradley Pritchard fired the ball into the box with an Orient forward arrowing the ball over Day’s goal as the score remaining goal less.

The highly-rated Tom Conlon came on for Charlie Lee who looked to be struggling with a shoulder niggle on the hour mark.

The youngster almost netted moments after entering the fray with a low shot just wide of Cisak’s goal – although Orient could have bemoaned their luck if a goal had arisen from the move, as Akinyemi looked to be coming back from an offside position.

Former Arsenal man Jay Simpson, signed by Orient from Thai side Buriram United in the summer after a fruitless spell at Hull City which saw him net only seven goals in 47 games for the Humberside team, fired a warning to the Boro on 72 minutes as he angled a powerful shot that thudded against the apex of the bar and post. However the warning wasn’t heeded as a minute later Simpson headed into the net following a cross from Cox. Even if you could argue the ref got in the way of the ball which then fell kindly to Orient, who lapped up the opportunity.

Matters deteriorated for Boro on 84 minutes, as Sammy Moore played the ball across the field to the marauding Clohessy, who then cushioned the ball with his first touch back into the box for Turgot – on for Lloyd James on 63 minutes – to connect perfectly on the volley firing a majestic shot into the net with Day having no chance. It was a goal Orient fans won’t tire of seeing – as well as neutrals who enjoy watching superb volleys - even if Boro fans won’t care to view it for a while.

Worse was to come for defender Dean Wells – who although didn’t have the greatest of games showed his undoubted character in never hiding in what was a tricky night for him – as he slipped, with the loose ball being picked up by substitute Ollie Palmer who slotted the ball past a despairing dive by Day to make it 3-0.

Football can be a cruel game at times, and 3-0 was a harsh result on the Boro – certainly after another promising first forty five minutes – and the fact is Teddy’s Sheringham’s side can take great pride in their performance.

They have promising youngsters, and a collection of very good players at this level, and will do better this season under the canny Sheringham than results have shown so far – however, the bare facts are the Boro have one point from nine – even if they performed valiantly against a team many have tipped for promotion.

As Teddy Sheringham said afterwards: “It’s not good enough and things have to change.”

With visitors Hartlepool arriving at The Lamex on Saturday, many of the impressively vociferous away support Boro brought to Orient will be hoping so.

Leyton Orient:

Cisak, Clohessy, Essam, Baudry, Shaw, James (Turgott 60), Pritchard, Moore, Cox (Dunne 82), McCallum (Palmer 76), Simpson (Bkd)

Stevenage:

Day, Franks (Bkd), Hughes, Wells, Okimo (Bkd), Schumacher (Bkd), Pett (Storer 79), Parrett, Lee (Conlon 65), Akinyemi, Williams (Bkd), Hitchcock(75)

Ref: Chris Sarginson

Att: 4,949 (400 away fans)

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