Frustration for Nolan’s men as Northampton thrash Orient
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Northampton Town 4
Leyton Orient conceded four times in the second half to suffer a disastrous 4-0 defeat to Northampton Town.
A goalless first 45 set up the second period nicely at Brisbane Road, but the League Two leaders took control after the break.
Kevin Nolan’s men struggled to create any chances of note and were completely outplayed to suffer another home loss.
Orient named an unchanged team for the visit of the Cobblers after such an impressive display last time out at Portsmouth.
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It meant home debuts for Nicky Hunt and Shaun Brisley – the latter playing against a side he represented earlier in the campaign.
Nigel Atangana and young goalkeeper Charlie Grainger returned to the substitute’s bench with Jerome Binnom-Williams and Sam Sargeant missing out.
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The visitors were forced to make a late change to their team as Joel Byrom suffered an injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Danny Rose.
Northampton got proceedings underway at a chilly Brisbane Road and neither side wanted to give an inch away during the opening exchanges.
It was the away side that created the first opportunity of the match and they perhaps should have gone ahead.
Ricky Holmes floated a wonderful cross into the back post, Hunt failed to track his marker and James Collins ran in.
But the Cobblers forward side footed just wide and the ball bounced off the advertising hoardings and hit the back of the net causing the visiting support to celebrate what they thought was a goal.
Unfortunately for them it wasn’t the opener, but it was a warning sign for the O’s up against a team seeking a seventh straight league victory.
Orient’s first shot on target came in the 21st minute when Sammy Moore’s chipped cross was poked towards goal by Nolan, but Adam Smith gathered at the second attempt.
Northampton’s stopper was called into action three minutes later when Nolan used his strength well and laid into Jobi McAnuff, but his low effort was saved.
A poor clearance by Alex Cisak allowed Holmes a sight at goal, but he lashed wide from 30 yards.
The talented midfielder was involved again in the 28th minute, running at the home defence before Frazer Shaw made an excellent tackle just outside his own penalty area to halt the Cobblers number 11.
Nolan’s men responded, however, when Jack Payne stopped Marc Richards dangerous run and set O’s on the attack.
Shaw overlapped Calaum Jahraldo-Martin and his ball nearly fell for Simpson inside the Cobblers box.
The loose ball fell for Nolan and he had an effort blocked before Moore tried his luck and was thwarted.
Orient continued the pressure and Moore had a volley, which Simpson headed wide, but he was offside anyway so it wouldn’t have counted.
Things were hotting up now at Brisbane Road and Lee Martin went into the book for catching Shaw in the 33rd minute.
At the end of the half, the hosts won a succession of free kicks in dangerous positions, but both of McAnuff’s deliveries were dealt with well by Northampton.
One minute of stoppage time was added on and the away team created one final opportunity from a corner, but McDonald headed over.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with both sides remaining solid and not giving anything away.
But in the 55th minute the opening goal was scored after a huge slice of misfortune for the O’s.
Moore passed back to Payne, who was having an excellent game, he slipped and Martin crossed into the box.
Orient managed to block the first couple of attempts, but Rod McDonald managed to pull off an excellent overhead kick which gave Cisak no chance.
It was a wonderful finish from the Cobblers central defender and Nolan’s men were struggling to find a response.
And then to make matters worst for the hosts, another piece of brilliant play resulted in the Cobblers doubling their lead.
The O’s could only headed Smith’s long kick to Holmes, around 25-yards-out, and he smashed a volley past Cisak to make it 2-0.
Armand Gnanduillet was introduced for Jahraldo-Martin in the 67th minute, two minutes after the goal as the east Londoners looked to get back into the encounter.
Five minutes later and the substitute nearly had an impact as McAnuff found him in the box, but his scuffed effort went wide and Nolan was just an inch away from converting it at the back post.
They went close again when Simpson managed to control Shaw’s ball into the box, but he could only side foot wide when he should have hit the target.
Bradley Pritchard replaced Moore with 12 minutes remaining to try and give the O’s more energy.
Northampton were in no mood to let their lead slip go and with six minutes left made it 3-0 at Brisbane Road.
Orient failed to clear a corner and Collins fired in from close range to compound the misery for the hosts.
The final roll of the dice from the O’s was to bring Ollie Palmer on, but the game had long gone now.
To rub salt into the wounds, the away team made it four in stoppage time when Lawson D’Ath broke well with the ball before setting up Richards, who rifled home.
It was humiliation for the east Londoners and when the full time whistle was blown not many home fans were left in the stadium.
Nolan’s men slip to ninth following the defeat ahead of next weekend’s trip to Notts County.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Baudry, Brisley, Shaw, Jahraldo-Martin (Gnanduillet 67), Payne (Payne 85), Moore (Pritchard 78), McAnuff, Nolan, Simpson.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Clohessy, Essam, Atangana.
Northampton Town: Smith, Moloney, Diamond, McDonald, Buchanan, Rose, Martin (D’Ath 65), O’Toole, Holmes (Taylor 81), Richards (Cresswell 87), Collins,
Unused substitutes: Clarke, Adams, Hoskins, Prosser.
Attendance: 6,131 (1,135 Northampton Town supporters).