Seventh heaven for O’s as Koroma scores four in Harlow rout
- Credit: Archant
Pre-season friendly: Harlow Town 0 Leyton Orient 7
Josh Koroma scored four times to inspire Leyton Orient to a 7-0 win at Harlow Town in their first pre-season game of the 2018/19 campaign.
Macauley Bonne, James Brophy and James Alabi also netted on a good day for the club in the basking sun in Essex.
Justin Edinburgh would have been impressed with what he saw from his side in their first outing of the new season.
Ahead of Monday’s flight to Portugal, Orient appear in good shape for the upcoming National League term, which starts on August 4.
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Edinburgh picked a starting XI containing a mixture of youth and experience with Dean Brill in goal and Josh Coulson, James Dayton, Charlie Lee and Jobi McAnuff in from the off.
The latter captained the side which also included Myles Judd, Dan Happe, Charles Clayden, Bonne and Ruel Sotiriou.
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Playing at left-back was high-rated youth-teamer Shadrach Ogie while another under-18 was among the substitutes in the shape of Brendan Shabani.
Orient got the game underway and the visitors had the first chance of the match in the third minute when Lee nipped in well to win a free kick on the edge of the area.
Dayton stepped up and managed to beat the wall, but Harlow goalkeeper David Hughes got across well to save.
The game continued to progress at a fast pace despite the sweltering heat and the first goal occurred in the 10th minute and it was no surprise to see Bonne on the scoresheet.
Good link-up play between Dayton and Sotiriou allowed the young forward to let fly from 22-yards.
His effort didn’t test Hughes, as it ricocheted off Dayton, but fell perfectly for Bonne and he drilled home to make it 1-0.
After scoring 25 times in all competitions last season, the O’s hitman didn’t need long to open his account for the new campaign.
Orient continued to stroke the ball around well, but nearly conceded in the 14th minute when Syrus Gordon crossed a free kick into the area and found Akin Abiola-Daramola, but the full-back headed wide when unmarked.
Edinburgh would have been impressed with the way his side were moving possession neatly and the O’s produced an excellent move in the 25th minute.
Ogie passed back to Brill and he found Coulson before some one-touch football from Orient allowed Bonne to be released by Judd.
This time the former Colchester United forward couldn’t find the back of the net, but it was nevertheless more encouragement for the visiting coaching staff.
Four minutes later and Edinburgh would have been pleased to see another passing move unlock the Harlow defence.
Judd got forward well on the right and although his initial ball was cleared back to him, he kept a cool head and found Sotiriou unmarked, but he fired wide from 10-yards when he should have scored.
On the half an hour mark a break took place with the friendly broken up into three lots of 30-minute sections.
Edinburgh made a change in goal ahead of the second period with Sam Sargeant coming on for Brill.
The rest of the starting XI remained the same and O’s new goalkeeper was called into action in the 35th minute as he punched a header clear, but the offside flag was up anyway.
Orient midfielder Lee had the next shot of note, but his 30-yarder was comfortable for Hughes and it remained 1-0.
An ambitious long-range effort from Dayton then nearly caught the Harlow Town number one out, but the shot from close to 40-yards flew just wide of goal.
In the 42nd minute O’s went close again when Dayton crossed in for Bonne and he laid off for Sotiriou, but his deflected strike was saved by the feet of Hughes.
Soon after a host of changes took place from Orient with Edinburgh bringing on 10 players off the bench.
Sam Ling, Marvin Ekpiteta, George Elokobi and Joe Widdowson made up the new back four while Koroma, Hector Kyprianou, Craig Clay and Brophy were the midfield four.
Up front was new recruit Alabi and a mystery trialist wearing number 17, later confirmed as ex-Gillinham and Swindon Town midfielder Luke Rooney.
With 49 on the clock, Sargeant was called into action when Harlow captain Gordon had a shot which deflected into the path of Justin Amalulor, but his shot was weak and easily saved by the Orient substitute.
Seven minutes later and O’s pressed again and this time they took their chance to double the lead.
Koroma did well on the right and got past Yanick Kissi before seeing his cross fired home by Brophy near the penalty spot.
It was another positive moment for Edinburgh with both of his wingers involved and a clinical touch displayed by Brophy.
After some more attacks down the right by Koroma, the second 30-minute period came to an end to give the players another chance of a water break.
Sargeant was replaced by youngster Arthur Janata for the last half an hour before O’s got proceedings underway.
The trialist went close straight away after showing some neat footwork before he saw an effort deflected wide.
It wasn’t long before Orient threatened again and this time they did add to their tally after fine play from the left-hand side.
Brophy knocked the ball between Abiola-Daramola and Tela Trivelato before he looked up and spotted Koroma in the middle.
Although the O’s teenager couldn’t finish initially, he did fire home at the second time of asking to make it 3-0 in the 63rd minute.
It wasn’t all Orient’s way though, as Harlow attacked in the 65th minute and Janata had to make a brilliant double save.
The substitute first of all denied Timothy Obisanya before he got up quickly to save the rebound effort from Trivelato.
After a slight lull in the game, the National League club finished with a flurry at the Harlow Arena and scored three times in the space of five minutes.
Orient’s fourth arrived in the 75th minute when Koroma played in Widdowson down the left and he cut back for Clay.
Although Clay’s effort didn’t reach its intended target, it was controlled impressively by Alabi and he smashed home from close range for his first goal for the club.
Three minutes later and Orient netted again and Koroma claimed his second with a free kick from 25-yards which took a slight deflection.
O’s number 19 had a big smile on his face after the effort and his grin widened some more in the 80th minute when he completed his hat-trick.
Alabi showed his class out wide before finding the on trial Rooney and he crossed in for Koroma to tap home for his hat-trick.
Koroma wasn’t finished there as he grabbed his fourth and Orient’s seventh in the 89th minute when he raced onto a through ball and slotted home coolly.
He did actually nearly add a fifth, but was denied by the offside flag after O’s trialist Rooney had cut the ball back to him.
The full time whistle followed soon after to bring a hugely satisfying first pre-season game of the summer to an end for Orient.
Edinburgh gave minutes to virtually all of his squad except for injured trio David Mooney, Dale Gorman and Alex Lawless and saw several members of his team catch the eye.
Orient will now head off to Portugal on Monday morning for a training camp where they will face Benfica B on Saturday (July 14).
Leyton Orient: Brill (Sargeant 30, Janata 60); Judd (Ling 47), Coulson (Ekpiteta 47), Happe (Elokobi 47), Ogie (Widdowson 47); Dayton (Brophy 47), Lee (Clay 47), McAnuff (Kyprianou 47, Shabani 81), Clayden (Koroma 47); Bonne (Trialist/Luke Rooney 47), Sotiriou (Alabi 47).