Danny Johnson hat-trick guides Leyton Orient back to winning ways against Harrogate Town
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
League Two: Leyton Orient 3 Harrogate Town 0
A Danny Johnson hat-trick guided Leyton Orient back to winning ways as they sealed a 3-0 victory over newly-promoted Harrogate Town.
The in-form striker continued his impressive start to the season to make it 12 goals this season as Ross Embleton men move up to 11th in League Two just two points off the play-off places.
Head coach Ross Embleton made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Colchester United last weekend as they welcomed back striker Danny Johnson, defenders Sam Ling and Joe Widdowson, who came in to replace Louis Dennis, Jordan Thomas and Tunji Akinola that were dropped to the bench.
The O’s Conor Wilkinson, Jobi McAnuff and James Brophy strung together a good passage of play which led to them being awarded a corner although they couldn’t make anything happen from the set-piece.
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In the 13th minute after a very cagey affair to begin, the visitors full-back Ryan Fallowfield was picked out behind Brophy on the right flank, where he looked to pick out a cross but Lawrence Vigouroux got on the right side of the attackers to collect the ball.
Five minutes later the O’s managed to break up the pitch and open the scoring as the club’s top goal scorer Danny Johnson slotted a shot into the bottom right corner after captain McAnuff nodded the ball to Wilkinson who picked out the in-form striker.
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Orient almost doubled their as McAnuff intercepted the ball, raced forward and played the ball out to Wilkinson inside the box on the right side, where he cut in to shoot on his left-foot but his effort was tipped wide for a corner by James Belshaw.
They did however grab a second goal in the 31st minute as striker Johnson drove the ball into the top corner with an absolute stunner of a half volley following a long ball forward from defender Josh Coulson for his 11th goal of the season.
The hosts had now found their rhythm after a slow side from both teams, this time Brophy firing just wide of the left post after Johnson cut back and laid it off to the winger after a long ball up to the striker from defensive midfielder Ouss Cisse in the 38th minute.
Orient controlled possession in the early stages of the second-half until the 56th minute when Town had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out due to a foul on O’s shot-stopper Vigouroux on the play.
Moments later the visitors striker Aaron Martin nodded an effort goalbound but the South American goalkeeper caught it with ease.
The fixture then became feisty with both captains McAnuff and Falkingham clashing while big tackles were flying in.
The O’s then took control once again as Brophy raced forward down the left, tried to cross but it was blocked, and fell to McAnuff who fired but it was deflected out for a corner.
Captain McAnuff whipped the corner in and found Johnson unmarked at the back post where he nodded the ball down into the back of the net to complete his hat-trick in the 73rd minute.
Head coach Ross Embleton then made use of his squad by making four substitutions as they looked to see off the game with Louis Dennis even going close in stoppage time as he cut inside and drilled an effort on target but it was held by Belshaw.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, Cisse, Kyprianou (Wright 86), McAnuff (Dayton 77), Brophy (Dennis 82), Wilkinson (Maguire-Drew 82), Johnson.
Unused subs: Sargeant, Akinola, Thomas.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Lawlor (Burrell 46), Hall, Jones, Thomson, Kerry (Kirby 60) Falkingham, Muldoon, Kiernan (Walker 85), Martin (Stead 60).
Unused subs: Cracknell and Lokko.