Andy Hessenthaler hails Leyton Orient wingers Harry Cornick and Sandro Semedo after 3-1 success over Stevenage
- Credit: Archant
Brisbane Road boss reflects on star display from winners, return of captain Robbie Weir and Sam Dalby’s debut
Andy Hessenthaler was full of praise for Leyton Orient wingers Harry Cornick and Sandro Semedo after Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Stevenage.
The O’s first match in Southern Group G of the English Football League Trophy resulted in the east Londoners achieving a third victory of the campaign.
Paul McCallum netted a brace while left-midfielder Semedo scored for the first time in senior football.
Cornick was involved in all three goals, picking up two assists, and he was praised by Orient’s manager.
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“Harry has had a good time against Stevenage, I think they’ll be sick of the sight of him to be fair,” said Hessenthaler.
“When we played them in the league, he caused them a lot of problems and they showed him a lot of respect.
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“They had to change the left-back and put Charlie Lee against him to see what he could do.
“But Harry was excellent along with Sandro so both wide boys were good and I thought generally it was a good performance.
“It was made easier because of the sending off, but we had to be patient. I think in the first half we got a little bit frustrated in terms of forcing things.
“You do that sometimes because you have a lot of the ball, but gradually we wore them down and the only blemish was the goal we conceded.”
The red card shown to Stevenage’s Dean Wells in the 13th minute for an elbow on McCallum was key.
But Orient also used the ball smartly and kept it on the floor much better than they did on Saturday.
Another positive was the return of skipper Robbie Weir in the centre of midfield and he looked back to his best.
The Northern Irishmen got caught a couple of times in possession, but generally he was busy and led by example.
Hessenthaler added: “Unfortunately for Robbie he had the illness and it set him back in terms of his fitness levels and he struggled a little bit.
“But he’s such a good professional and skipper, he actually come to see me and said he was struggling and not contributing to the team.
“We pulled him out and Nigel Atangana has gone in and been excellent, but I thought Robbie looked good against Stevenage.
“He grew into the game and it’s not easy when you haven’t played, but what he did well was he sat in front of the back four. He won his headers, picked the ball up and got us playing.
“Liam Kelly has been excellent as well. All three of the central midfielders have been really good and I think they are going to be important for us this season.”
After Saturday’s disappointing 2-1 reverse to Mansfield Town, Orient needed a response and provided it against Stevenage.
Sam Dalby, just 16, was also given his debut on Tuesday – playing the final 14 minutes and Josh Koroma impressed in his short cameo.
“We wanted a reaction after the defeat, we were disappointed at the weekend, especially in the manner we did to lose it in the last minute of the game,” said Hessenthaler.
“It was a match we shouldn’t have lost, but we did and we needed a reaction – we got that against Stevenage and like I say, we had lots of positives.
“We have a 16-year-old that has made his debut and has a massive future. Also Koroma has come on and set people alight for the time he was involved.
“And we had some others Steve Alzate, he didn’t get his opportunity and Freddy Moncur was on the bench as well.”