Pointless trip for Leyton Orient
17:08 07 March 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Sky Bet League One: Peterborough 1 Leyton Orient 0
Leyton Orient fell to a second successive defeat as Jon Taylor’s effort proved enough for Peterborough, who finished the game with 10 men after Marcus Maddison’s late red card.
O’s travelled to the ABAX Stadium in positive mood, but returned home empty handed after a frustrating afternoon when Romain Vincelot was stretchered off with a knee ligament injury.
The only consolation for boss Fabio Liverani was that relegation rivals Coventry, Colchester and Crawley also lost, although bottom club Yeovil claimed a rare win over Oldham to pull themselves closer to the pack.
Liverani made three changes to his starting line-up from the midweek meeting with leaders Bristol City, as Gary Sawyer, Scott Cuthbert and Bradley Pritchard came in for Andrea Dossena, who dropped to the bench, Shane Lowry and Ryan Hedges, who both missed out altogether.
And Sawyer was called upon to block Taylor’s cross after only two minutes as Posh forced the first corner of the afternoon.
O’s rallied, with Luke O’Neill whipping in a good cross from the right which Ben Alnwick came off his line to gather, but it was a generally slow start from both sides.
Taylor made ground again on the right on 12 minutes, before captain Cuthbert came across to cut him off at the expense of a throw-in.
And Michael Bostwick intercepted a loose pass from Mathieu Baudry to release Taylor again, but his cross could not find a blue shirt.
Orient countered through Chris Dagnall, who burst forward and tried to find Pritchard only for former O’s defender Gabriel Zakuani to clear for a corner.
The subsequent set-piece was only half-cleared to Sawyer, but his effort was sliced over the crossbar.
Posh broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Taylor found the net with a cross-cum-shot that drifted into the far corner of Alex Cisak’s net.
But the home side had penalty appeals waved away just past the half-hour mark, after claiming Michael Smith’s long throw-in had hit Vincelot’s hand.
They kept the pressure on and won another corner when Smith’s cross was headed behind by O’Neill on 34 minutes.
But Jobi McAnuff lost the chance of a shooting chance at the other end after cutting in from the left and taking too long on the ball, before the visitors had strong appeals for a penalty turned down, when a Ricardo Santos clearance appeared to his Smith’s hand.
Dagnall’s pressure then forced Zakuani to concede a corner six minutes before the break, but Posh broke out in numbers before seeing their attack snuffed out by a retreating O’s defence.
It could have been 2-0 just before the interval, though, as former O’s youngster Aaron McLean sent a header over the bar for the hosts.
And Joe Newell tried his luck from long range, but sent his shot straight into the hands of Cisak.
Newell was replaced by Maddison during the break and Posh went close soon after the restart as Zakuani poked wide at the far post from a corner.
But O’s had an opening at the other end when O’Neill picked out David Mooney in the box, but the Irish striker could only poke a weak shot into the hands of Alnwick.
The visitors were having to defend again, though, as Taylor got in behind Sawyer and fizzed the ball across the box for Cuthbert to put behind for another corner.
But O’s went agonisingly close to an equaliser on 54 minutes when Pritchard whipped in a cross and McAnuff sent the ball towards goal, where Alnwick somehow managed to tip it over.
Mooney made way for the returning Darius Henderson and O’s put together a good move that saw Josh Wright fire in a cross from the right that was just beyond 11-goal Dagnall.
More good play on the right came to nothing as O’Neill’s cross for Henderson was rendered academic by an offside flag, before Liverani sent Dean Cox on for McAnuff.
But Peterborough substitute Luke James made an immediate impact, forcing Cisak into a save midway through the second half, before the visitors scrambled the resulting corner clear.
Cox responded with a shot from the edge of the box on 72 minutes, that flew just wide of Alnwick’s post.
Henderson went down in the box under a challenge from Santos, but referee Mark Brown was unmoved, and Cisak had to dive to his right to keep out a long-range effort from Jack Payne.
Vincelot looked in some pain as he went down injured behind the play and the French midfielder was stretchered off to polite applause from both sets of fans to be replaced by Marvin Bartley for the final seven minutes. He will have a scan on Sunday to determine the full extent of the damage.
Wright volleyed wide from just outside the box as normal time drew to a close and O’Neill saw a dangerous cross headed away by Zakuani.
O’Neill then saw Maddison lunge in on him and the Posh substitute was shown a straight red card for the challenge, leaving the home side to see out the 10 minutes of stoppage time with 10 men.
And they had a let-off when Cox sent a free-kick into the box which cleared Baudry, but hit the knee of Bartley before Alnwick collected.
Bostwick sent a speculative effort onto the roof of Cisak’s net in the eighth minute of stoppage time, before O’Neill saw a last-gasp effort blocked.
Peterborough: Alnwick, Smith, Ntihe, Bostwick, Taylor (Vassell 73), Payne, Washington, Newell (Maddison 46), McLean (James 64), Santos, Zakuani. Unused subs: Henry, Burgess, Norris, Beautyman.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Sawyer, Vincelot (Bartley 83), Cuthbert, Baudry, Mooney (Henderson 54), McAnuff (Cox 64), Wright, Pritchard, Dagnall, O’Neill. Unused subs: Woods, Clarke, Simpson, Dossena.
Attendance: 6,525 (including 597 Orient fans).