Orient knocked out of FA Youth Cup after gripping tie with Southend
- Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES
FA Youth Cup second round: Leyton Orient 3 Southend United 4 (a.e.t)
Leyton Orient bowed out of the FA Youth Cup following a pulsating first round tie at home to local rivals Southend United on Thursday night.
The two talented set of youngsters produced a seven-goal thriller for a crowd of 336 with late drama aplenty.
Orient were heading through before the Blues levelled in stoppage time and forced an extra 30 minutes of play and with penalties coming up, the visitors then snatched a 4-3 win at the death to break the hearts of the O’s under-18s.
After the previous encounter, in the Youth Alliance South East division, had ended 5-0 to Southend United, the hosts were eager to avoid a repeat.
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Both sides were tentative in the opening exchanges, but the clash sprung into life in the 19th minute when Orient took the lead.
Charles Clayden was given too much time out wide and produced a wonderful cross, which Jaedon Phillips headed home to continue his excellent form.
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Buoyed by the goal, O’s doubled their lead six minutes later with the provider for the first turning goalscorer on this occasion.
Bradley McClenaghan played Clayden through and the winger, who made his first-team debut away to Gateshead in April, kept his head and fired into the net to make it 2-0 after 25 minutes.
Southend come back into the contest after, and enjoyed plenty of the ball before they pulled a goal back in the 41st minute.
O’Shane Stewart let fly and O’s goalkeeper Sean Campbell couldn’t prevent the effort going in despite getting a hand to the shot.
It remained 2-1 until half time, but the fourth goal of the tie arrived in the 63rd minute and went to Orient.
Phillips collected the ball and found Clayden on the opposite flank, and the wide-man crossed into the area where McClenaghan showed fantastic technique to volley home.
It was a wonderful goal and O’s were in cruise control again, but fatigue began to set in during the dying exchanges.
The Blues reduced the deficit with 86 on the clock after Terrell Egbri tapped in, after Campbell had denied Charlie Kelman, to set up a nervy finale.
Six minutes of stoppage time were then added on and in the fourth, the equaliser was forthcoming for the visitors.
Matt Rush’s low strike from inside the area had enough power to beat Campbell and force extra-time, although only after O’s substitute Tom Mulqueen had seen a shot cleared off the line seconds later.
During the additional half an hour of play, both sides looked shattered and penalties seemed to be the only way to decide a frantic tie before one more twist occurred.
Southend’s Kelman picked up a loose ball, dribbled into the area and applied the required finish to make it 4-3 in the 120th minute of the match.
Orient’s players collapsed to the floor. After over two hours of football, they had given everything, but had fallen just short.
The full time whistle followed moments later to bring O’s journey in this season’s FA Youth Cup to a shattering end.
While Orient will be disappointed to exit the competition in the first round, this team should be incredibly proud of their efforts.
Leyton Orient: Campbell, Fleming, Sweeney, Haxhiu, Hall © (Palmer 50), Shabani, Sivi, Kyprianiou, Phillips (Hammond 69), McClenaghan (Mulqueen 79), Clayden (Adeyemi 100)
Unused substitutes: Amedu.