Gateshead add to the problems of Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis as the O’s lose yet again
PUBLISHED: 21:46 24 October 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Leyton Orient 0 Gateshead 2
A brace from Gateshead’s Jordan Burrow piled the pressure on Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis tonight at Brisbane Road.
The Heed forward struck twice at the start of the first half and towards the end of the second to give his team a deserved 2-0 victory.
It was the O’s ninth defeat in the National League this season and saw them drop to 19th in the table – four points off the bottom four.
Orient’s form since September 2 has been terrible with Davis’ team losing seven of their last 11 games, which has seen a decent chunk of the supporters now turn on their current head coach.
James Brophy was brought into the starting XI while Jobi McAnuff returned after a groin injury.
Rommy Boco and James Dayton dropped to the bench, but Davis kept faith with the rest of the team which lost 1-0 at home to Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
After criticising his players following the defeat, the O’s head coach would have expected a response against the Heed.
Davis fielded a slightly different tactic to usual with Macauley Bonne, David Mooney and Brophy as part of a front three in a 5-2-3.
Craig Clay and McAnuff were in the centre of midfield with the usual five at the back for Orient.
Gateshead made the brighter start at Brisbane Road and looked assured on the ball with JJ O’Donnell showing his potential early on.
A bright counter-attack by Orient eventually came to nothing, but helped get some excitement into the crowd.
Yet the enthusiasm that piece of play produced was quickly forgotten when Gateshead took the lead in the ninth minute.
O’Donnell did well on the left and just about got his cross in, which was good enough for Burrow to rise highest and head past Charlie Grainger.
It was so simple for the Heed and the worst type of start for Davis, who quickly made a formation change.
Orient switched to a 4-3-3 with Myles Judd and Joe Widdowson lining up on the right and left side of the back four.
Jake Caprice was now the right forward with Brophy, McAnuff and Clay part of a midfield three.
The move nearly paid off immediately when Mooney turned and played a perfectly weighted through ball for Caprice.
Dan Hanford had raced out of his goal quickly though, and was able to block the low effort by the ex-Woking man.
Moments later and Bonne fizzed a ball across the area, but Mooney was unable to divert it towards goal.
Judd picked up an unnecessary booking in the 20th minute for a late challenge and it seemed to knock the confidence of the youngster.
Six minutes later the teenager committed himself again and O’Donnell put another dangerous ball into the area, which Mark Ellis got a slight touch to in order to put it behind for a corner.
Gateshead’s took the set-piece short with Orient switching off, but fortunately for them it didn’t come to anything.
Soon after and the Heed threatened once more when McAnuff and Judd collided and Luke Hannant nearly got through, but Ellis came to O’s rescue by deflecting it wide.
The Carlisle United loanee was involved again in the 28th minute when Hannant was nearly played in, but Ellis slide in to intercept the pass.
It was one-way traffic and the home fans were growing restless despite Davis barking out instructions from the touchline.
Orient were looking nervous and despite a brief lull in proceedings, Gateshead showed their attacking ability again in the 40th minute when Jordan Preston whipped in a wicked ball into the area.
Fortunately for the O’s it evaded an away player and soon after they finally tested Hanford in the Heed goal again.
Bonne’s close range effort from Brophy’s cross didn’t count, however, because the winger had failed to keep the ball in play.
The excellent O’Donnell soon had Gateshead back on the front foot though, when he crossed in for Preston, but the winger on the opposite flank could only drill wide from a tight angle.
One minute was added on at the end of the half, but thankfully for O’s the Heed were unable to produce any more opportunities so it as only 1-0 at the break.
A large chunk of the home supporters booed when referee Carl Brook signalled for half time following a dismal first 45 from Orient.
Davis made a change during the interval with Brophy replacing Widdowson and O’s switching to a 4-4-2.
The Orient substitute had an immediate impact as his cross caused problems for the Heed, but no one could latch onto Hanford’s weak punch.
In fairness to Davis, this latest tactical switch seemed to work with the east Londoners producing their move of the match in the 52nd minute.
Judd played into Bonne’s path on the right and he cut back for Mooney, who delightfully played Brophy in.
The Swindon Town loanee laid back for Dayton, around 12-yards-out, but Scott Barrow blocked well and the chance was gone.
O’s couldn’t make the most of the early momentum they built up and the game soon fell back into the first half pattern of the hosts having plenty of the ball, but doing very little with it.
Gateshead nearly made Caprice pay for a poor pass just past the hour mark, but Dan Happe did well to block the effort of Hannant.
Moments later and Davis called Ruel Sotiriou from his warm up to get the youngster ready to be introduced.
But before the change could be made, O’s were presented with a fantastic opportunity to equalise.
Dayton set for Caprice and although his cross was poor, it was missed by a Heed defender and came perfectly for Mooney.
Orient’s club captain took a touch to compose himself around eight-yards-out, but took too long and Hanford came out and blocked the shot.
The Brisbane Road faithful were stunned – O’s had been given the chance to level, yet had wasted it.
Mooney came off for Sotiriou soon after and bizarrely Boco was brought on for McAnuff less than 60 seconds after the previous sub was made.
Orient’s young forward did his best to provide a positive and set up Clay for a decent chance in the 76th minute, but the midfielder drilled his shot well wide from 20-yards.
Ellis then headed a Boco free kick wide as another went begging before Gateshead punished more poor defending.
Grainger and Ellis failed to communicate and the O’s goalkeeper was left with egg on his face when Burrow controlled and tapped into the empty net with 80 on the clock.
Loud cries of ‘Davis out’ were heard from the supporters in the South Stand as the pressure piled on the Orient head coach.
The remainder of the game was played at a pedestrians pace with the home players looking stunned.
When the full time whistle occurred more boos and chants of Davis out could be loudly heard.
It was a disastrous night for the O’s boss with his players failing to respond in a positive manner to his weekend criticism.
Things don’t get easier for Davis or Orient with a trip to high-flying Wrexham coming up this Saturday.
Leyton Orient: Grainger; Caprice, Ellis, Happe, Widdowson (Dayton 46), Judd; McAnuff (Boco 68), Clay; Bonne, Mooney (Sotiriou 67), Brophy.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Westbrooke.
Gateshead: Hanford; Williams (Vassell 46), Kerr, Byrne, Barrow; Hannant, Penn (Maxwell 70), McLaughlin, O’Donnell; Preston, Burrow.
Unused substitutes: York, Peniket, Johnson.
Attendance: 3,468 (63 Gateshead supporters).