Harry Cornick’s star display is cherry on top for Leyton Orient as AFC Bournemouth loanee shines in English Football League Trophy success
- Credit: Archant
21-year-old was sensational at times against Stevenage and has now scored once and registered four assists in five games vs Boro in the last two years
It is safe to say Stevenage will be sick of the sight of Leyton Orient loanee Harry Cornick after the winger tormented the Hertfordshire club again on Tuesday night.
The O’s first match in Southern Group G of the English Football League Trophy turned out to be a good occasion for the east Londoners as they delivered an excellent display.
Paul McCallum hit a brace, while Sandro Semedo scored his first goal for the club, but Cornick was the true star of the show in the 3-1 win.
Even before Boro were reduced to 10 men in the 13th minute after an elbow by Dean Wells, the loanee winger looked in form.
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When he eventually come off in the 78th minute to a standing ovation from the 876 fans in attendance, he had registered two assists and was a whisker away from scoring a stunning solo effort of his own.
Cornick dribbled past three Stevenage players in the 40th minute and curled a shot just past the top corner from the edge of the box.
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It didn’t go in for the 21-year-old, but Orient’s 3-1 victory kept up the Bournemouth youngster’s excellent record against Boro.
He has now faced Stevenage five times over the past two seasons and never been on the losing team, while he has one goal and four assists when up against the Hertfordshire outfit.
“I’ve got a good record against them, even back at Yeovil Town I had good games,” laughed Cornick.
“It is a confidence-booster for me to get two assists. I want to keep helping the strikers score. If we get goals, we’ll win games and that’s the main thing for me.
“Stevenage’s goalkeeper (Jamie Jones) has made a few good saves, one has just whistled past the post.
“But I got two assists so I can’t really complain and we got the three points as well.”
Last year Orient would have just got a win in the English Football League Trophy, then named the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
This season the competition has been revamped and League One and Two clubs have been placed in groups of four rather than just take part in a knockout format.
Another key difference this year is the introduction of the Category One Academy sides – a total of 16 are involved and Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s are in O’s group.
They lost 2-0 at Southend United, which means Andy Hessenthaler’s team are top of the Group G table after the first matches.
Cornick acknowledged the format change was strange, but after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Mansfield Town in League Two – the victory came at just the right time for Orient.
He added: “We were determined to get the points against Stevenage. It is a weird system the EFL Trophy this season, with four teams in a group. You just have to take each match as it comes and try to win every one.”
The English Football League Trophy has received a lot of criticism this year and rightly so.
One of the reasons behind the change in format was to assist the development of English football’s best young players, but that was unfortunately ridiculed as Norwich City under-23s beat Peterborough United 6-1 with 28-year-old Tony Andreu, of France, hitting a treble.
But Orient’s match allowed Hessenthaler to try out a few things with Semedo pushed further forward from left-back to left midfield.
Cornick has operated that position on the left wing at times this season, but was back in his favoured role on Tuesday and relished it.
He said: “It’s good to learn different positions. I think I’m best on the right, that way I can get at defenders and put crosses into the box.”