Jay Simpson scores again as Leyton Orient beat Wealdstone
- Credit: Archant
Pre-season friendly: Wealdstone 1 Leyton Orient 2
Leyton Orient won their first pre-season game of the 2016/17 campaign after seeing off Wealdstone 2-1.
Andy Hessenthaler’s men trailed early on at Grosvenor Vale, but Jay Simpson equalised before Sandro Semedo secured the victory.
All of the goals occurred in the first half with the east Londoners using 22 players in total during a good work out at the National League South side.
Hessenthaler named Alex Cisak in goal with Sean Clohessy and Callum Kennedy occupying the full back positions from the off.
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Tom Parkes and Aron Pollock were at the heart of the O’s defence with Robbie Weir, captain for the night, and Liam Kelly together in midfield.
Gavin Massey, against his old club, was on the right with Semedo out on the left and Simpson partnering new boy Jordan Bowery up top.
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The game was only two minutes old when Orient created an excellent chance after a fine piece of football.
Weir controlled the ball deep in his own half and sprayed it out wide to Massey in space who passed to Bowery.
The forward burst into the box and forced Jonathan North into a fine save and Kelly smashed the rebound over under pressure.
It was a bright start by the east Londoners, but three minutes later and they were to find themselves behind at Grosvenor Vale.
Former player David Hunt curled a free kick into the visitors’ box and it wasn’t dealt with properly which allowed Eddie Oshodi, once of Dagenham & Redbridge, to bundle into the corner.
After 11 minutes ex-Southend United striker Elliott Benyon latched onto a through ball, but lobbed past Cisak as the Stones looked to double their lead.
The League Two team were dominating possession, but struggling to break down Wealdstone who were being marshalled well by North.
But in the 25th minute the O’s got back on level terms with their hitman from last season back amongst the goals.
Massey ran at the home defence and appeared to lose the ball before winning it back and racing into the box.
Simpson dropped off, his team mate rolled the ball back to him and Orient’s top goalscorer from last year curled into the top corner.
Hessenthaler would have been pleased with that effort and even more delighted in the 33rd minute.
Kelly rolled the ball to Semedo, deep in his half, and the Portuguese winger ran at opponent Oshodi.
The Stones defender continued to back off and O’s left winger rifled the ball into the far corner to delight the travelling support.
It remained 2-1 until half time when the Orient boss made 10 changes to his team with Parkes the only person to remain.
Nicky Hunt took the armband and was joined by Yvan Erichot and Josh Doherty in the back four.
Charlie Grainger replaced Cisak with Dean Cox, Sammy Moore, Nigel Atangana and Josh Koroma in midfield.
Armand Gnanduillet and Ollie Palmer led the line for the O’s and Cox had an early effort saved by Wealdstone.
Youngster Michael Clark was introduced in the 62nd minute with Parkes making way and the away side looking comfortable.
The Stones made a few changes afterwards including replacing Hunt who received a warm applause from the Orient faithful.
Wealdstone substitute Sahar Kabba was looking lively and nearly forced Clark to put through his own net in the 73rd minute.
The ball was played out wide to the pacey forward and his low cross was sliced by the O’s defender, but Grainger blocked well.
With time ticking away at Grosvenor Vale, the hosts pushed to find an equaliser and Hessenthaler’s men looked dangerous on the break.
It was nearly 3-1 in the 85th minute when Koroma did well on the right and Palmer met his centre, but the effort went wide.
Grainger had to be alert minutes later when the ball dropped to Kabba in the box and he unleashed an effort which Orient’s goalkeeper saved.
The full time whistle followed soon after to give Hessenthaler a first victory since he was officially appointed last month.
Wealdstone: North, Oshodi, Parker, Hamblin, Urquhart, Wright (Maximov 66), Godfrey (Cain 69), Hunt (Hoban 67), Wellard, Green (Hutchinson 64), Benyon (Kabba 64).
Unused substitutes: Constable, Cadmore, Rose, McGleish
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy (Hunt 46), Pollock (Erichot 46), Parkes (Clark 62), Kennedy (Doherty 46), Massey (Koroma 46), Weir (Moore 46), Kelly (Atangana 46), Semedo (Cox 46), Bowery (Palmer 46), Simpson (Gnanduillet 46).