Late show sends Orient top of League Two

Leyton Orient players celebrate another goal (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient players celebrate another goal (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 3 Stevenage 0

Leyton Orient scored three times in the final 16 minutes at Brisbane Road to defeat Stevenage 3-0 and move to the top of League Two.

Jay Simpson opened the scoring for Ian Hendon’s men before two of his second half substitutes found the net.

Blair Turgott finishing off a sensational team move with a stunning volley before Ollie Palmer added the icing on the cake during stoppage time.

Hendon named the exact same starting team from the Dagenham & Redbridge match and the exact same squad for the visit of Stevenage.

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That meant the likes of Gary Woods, Shane Lowry and Jobi McAnuff missed out as the O’s looked to pick up a third consecutive victory in League Two against Teddy Sheringham’s Borough.

Both sides had early opportunities with Bradley Pritchard firing wide inside the area after two minutes, but it wasn’t a sign of things to come.

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Stevenage settled well and Brett Williams broke the offside trap and smashed an effort against the post, which come back and hit Alex Cisak before going out for a corner.

The visitors continued to press and won a succession of corners as they looked to press home their early advantage.

Orient appeared to weather that storm, though, and soon they were attacking with Sean Clohessy a strong force going forward in the opening 10 minutes from the right-hand side.

Paul McCallum began to get into the contest after that and had an effort blocked before heading wide from a Dean Cox corner as Hendon’s men got a foothold in the encounter.

After 18 minutes the O’s had another opportunity when the ball dropped to Pritchard in the area. He chested it down and showed great vision to flick to Cox on his right, but the diminutive midfielder could only volley wide of goal.

Clohessy was proving to be a real threat and four minutes later he beat his marker before crossing into the box. It went over Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day, but a covering defender was able to clear.

Day was thankful to captain Mark Hughes in the 28th minute when again Clohessy got forward to good effect and found McCallum in the box. His header beat the Stevenage goalkeeper, but Hughes got back to clear right on the line – photographic evidence later showed it should have counted.

It was the closest either side had gone to taking the lead and the match started to slow down, but nine minutes before half time it went back to its usual frantic pace.

Dipo Akinyemi twisted Orient captain Mathieu Baudry inside out before smashing an effort against the crossbar. The hosts quickly regrouped, though, and seconds later Simpson broke into the box before having his shot blocked.

Two minutes later and Cox and Clohessy combined, the latter found Simpson who had a shot blocked. The ball came back in and McCallum won the header again, but it was straight at Stevenage stopper Day.

Hendon’s men carried on looking dangerous but the visitors Akinyemi, who scored for them at Newport County on Saturday, was a constant threat to the O’s defence and a cause for concern as the half came to a close.

It was the away team that began the second period better and Frazer Shaw was forced to hack over the Orient bar a minute into the half.

Shaw was involved at the other end shortly afterwards as he charged down the left and his centre was met by Sammy Moore, but he side footed over the bar when under pressure.

Although it wasn’t a straight forward chance the former AFC Wimbledon man should have tested Day in the Stevenage goal and it was another opportunity that the O’s failed to take.

The game was incredibly too-and-fro with each side having decent chunks of possession and the away team came back again with Williams forcing Cisak to tip away from goal.

Hendon responded by introducing the pace of Turgott for Lloyd James and putting Moore and Pritchard together in central midfield.

It was a positive change but Sheringham’s men were starting to get on top. The Orient faithful responded by urging their team on and it appeared to work.

Shortly afterwards Turgott crossed into the box and McCallum won it again, but headed over the crossbar.

Unfortunately the performance of the referee Christopher Sarginson started to take centre stage as he made a succession of poor decisions.

Orient started to build ahead of steam again, though, and Simpson smashed against the crossbar in the 74th minute after collecting Clohessy’s cross.

After that it seemed like this match may be heading towards a goalless draw but just seconds after Simpson’s effort hit the woodwork, the O’s took the lead.

Cox got some space down the left and got to the byline before crossing in for Simpson to head down into the ground and into the corner.

Relief poured out inside Brisbane Road and it was a strange case of déjà vu for Orient too as exactly like their opening match of the season against Barnet, Cox crossed in for Simpson to open the scoring in the 74th minute.

Unlike the Barnet game, Hendon’s men couldn’t double their lead a minute later but Palmer was introduced for McCallum.

Alan Dunne entered the pitch eight minutes before full time for Cox too, who left the field to a standing ovation after picking up his fourth assist of the campaign.

Two minutes later and the game was wrapped up as Turgott scored his first goal for the club to finish off an outstanding move.

Palmer won the ball deep inside his own half and played it into Moore, he spread the ball out wide to Clohessy who had charged into the box. He cleverly passed to Turgott and the former West Ham man showed supreme confidence to volley first time into the top corner.

It was a stunning strike and on the stroke of full time another substitute showed why he was on the pitch for the O’s.

Palmer chased down a lost cause and Franks made a hash of clearing the ball and the Orient forward poked into the net to make it 3-0 and score his first for the club as well.

That goal was enough to take Hendon’s side a goal clear of Wycombe Wanderers at the top of the League Two table and the full time whistle followed shortly to conclude another great night for the Brisbane Road club.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, Baudry, Essam, Shaw, James (Turgott 60), Pritchard, Moore, Cox (Dunne 82), Simpson, McCallum (Palmer 75).

Unused substitutes: Grainger, Kashket, Moncur, Ling.

Stevenage: Day, Franks, Hughes, Schumacher, Williams (Hitchcock 75), Pett (Storer 79), Parrett, Wells, Akinyemi, Lee (Conlon 65), Okimo.

Unused substitutes: Kettings, Casey, Ogilvie, Gorman.

Attendance: 4,949 (400 Stevenage supporters).

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