Leyton Orient push Leicester City close in third round of FA Youth Cup
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Tristan Abrahams on target for O’s at Premier League outfit, but east Londoners exit competition after 3-1 defeat
Leyton Orient pushed Leicester City all the way in the third round of the FA Youth Cup last night, but eventually fell short.
The Premier League outfit claimed a 3-1 win in the end, yet the O’s created several good chances.
A last-gasp penalty from Tristan Abrahams ensured they got some type of reward on an evening when Orient’s youth did the club proud.
Richard Thomas and Omer Riza were able to include captain Charley Barker among the substitutes at Leicester after making his comeback during the victory over MK Dons on Saturday.
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Orient, despite being up against Premier League opposition, created the first chance of note and nearly took the lead.
Josh Koroma did brilliantly to work a yard of space and find Abrahams, but his effort was scrambled off the line in the eighth minute.
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Leicester did respond four minutes later when Kieran Dewsbury-Hall’s shot took a big deflection and flew just past the post.
The combination of Koroma and Abrahams caused the Foxes problems again with just over quarter of an hour played when the latter had an effort blocked.
Orient’s stand-in captain, Abrahams, was calling for a penalty in the 22nd minute when he nutmegged an opponent and went down in the box.
Referee Richard Price waved away his appeals and then the opening goal of the game occurred in the 28th minute when Kanya Leshabela got to the byline and crossed in for Leicester’s Layton Ndukwu to tap home.
It was harsh on O’s youngster, though boosted the confidence of the Foxes, who now piled the pressure on the visitors.
Sam Roach had to make a fine save to his left with half an hour gone to deny Simranjit Thandi.
Leicester went even closer three minutes later when Ethan Hodby smashed a strike against the crossbar.
Orient managed to withstand the pressure before finishing the half strongly with Abrahams having a poked effort saved.
Pat Adamson set up Toby Stevenson with four minutes of the first 45 remaining, but O’s defender rifled a shot over and it stayed 1-0 at the break.
Roach was forced to make another impressive save just three minutes after the interval to deny Leshabel from 12-yards.
Thomas and Riza watched their youngster go so close to levelling, however, in the 58th minute after more good play.
Sam Dalby threaded a pass into Adamson and the winger dribbled into the area before firing just wide.
Orient went even closer on the hour mark when Steven Alzate’s free kick was met by Dalby, but his header was cleared off the line by Alex Pascanu.
Leicester upped the ante after that opportunity with Elliot Webber having a bigger influence on proceedings.
The forward teed up Hodby for a chance in the 69th minute, though Roach was equal to the effort.
But three minutes later and it was 2-0 when the same duo combined again and this time Hodby found the net.
Barker and Ruel Sotiriou were introduced in the 83rd minute replacing Henry Ochieng and Koroma.
And the Foxes added a third just four minutes later when Dewsbury-Hall fired into the bottom corner.
Charles Clayden replaced Adamson with a minute left before Orient finally got some deserved reward.
Dalby picked out strike partner Abrahams and the O’s forward was bundled over and this time won a spot-kick.
Abrahams stepped up and confidently dispatched the penalty to give Orient’s travelling support something to celebrate.
The full time whistle followed soon after and O’s bowed out of the competition following a brave display.
It was Orient’s first defeat of the campaign, yet they could be enormously proud of their efforts at Leicester.
Next up for the O’s is an away match at Northampton Town in the Youth Alliance South East Division – their last game of 2016.
Leyton Orient: Roach; Stevenson, Happe, Perkins, McLean; Adamson (Clayden 89), Ochieng (Barker 83), Alzate, Koroma (Sotiriou 83); Dalby, Abrahams.
Unused substitutes: Janata, Camilo-Tayaca.