Leyton Orient sting the Bees to give Hendon winning start

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 2 Barnet 0

Two goals in the space of a minute ensured Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon got off to a winning start as his team defeated Barnet 2-0 at Brisbane Road.

Jay Simpson opened the scoring in the 74th minute and Paul McCallum doubled that advantage shortly afterwards to send the home fans into pandemonium.

Hendon didn’t have it all his own way against the club he managed and captained with the Bees looking the better of the two teams in the first half.

But the O’s appeared much better after the break and started life in League Two with a much needed victory.

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Hendon gave debuts to five of his summer signings with Sean Clohessy, Connor Essam, Frazer Shaw, Sammy Moore and McCallum all starting.

McCallum was a doubt for the game after injuring his ankle in the O’s final friendly match last Sunday, but he passed a late fitness test and lead the line alongside Simpson.

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Orient lined up with the diamond formation in midfield with Lloyd James the deepest of the foursome and Moore and Bradley Pritchard further forward and Dean Cox at the tip of the diamond.

Before kick-off the Brisbane Road head coach was joined on the pitch by president Francesco Becchetti, chief executive Alessandro Angelieri as well as some of the rest of his Italian backroom team.

Mathieu Baudry led the side out for the first time since officially being announced as captain of the Brisbane Road club and he was straight into the thick of the action – making an excellent sliding tackle to halt the mazy run of Barnet’s Andy Yiadom.

Shortly afterwards and Hendon should have seen his team go ahead in the seventh minute when James played McCallum through on goal. Bees goalkeeper Graham Stack came out slightly and the O’s forward chipped over him, but unfortunately his effort sailed wide of the post.

It was a great opportunity for the former West Ham forward to officially open his account for the club, but he couldn’t take it. Orient didn’t allow that to affect their confidence, though, as they continued to press forward.

With a quarter of an hour played, however, they should have found themselves behind. John Akinde out muscled Baudry on the left, he ran into the box and picked out Michael Gash. But the Bees forward made a hash of the opportunity and side footed wide of Alex Cisak’s goal.

The O’s hit back and Simpson fired over the top after good work between Clohessy and Pritchard on the right. It was an even contest, though, with Martin Allen’s Barnet looking very physical as you would expect.

Akinde went close again in the 24th minute, firstly forcing Cisak to come out and block his effort before he crossed into the box for away captain Curtis Weston, but he headed over the bar with the goal empty.

Orient’s midfield shape was allowing the Bees far too much time on the ball with James being isolated on more than one occasion. Midway through the half it was the recently promoted Conference side that were on top.

The game was incredibly open, but the O’s started to get a foothold back in the match towards the end of the half with Pritchard playing a pivotal role and showing great energy.

A poor corner by Cox nearly gave Barnet an opportunity to open the scoring as they attacking with a three on two situation, but Baudry got back to foul Mauro Vilhete and pick up a booking in the process – taking one for team!

The half time whistle followed soon after and although the visitors had been the better of the two sides, they hadn’t taken their chances and O’s ended the stronger of the two teams.

Hendon’s team started the better of the two after the interval and McCallum came close to giving them the lead in the 50th minute. Simpson had an effort saved by Stack, but McCallum could only poke into the side netting.

Two minutes later and James picked out Simpson inside the box with a beautiful ball but the O’s forward over ran the ball and Stack came out to claim it.

It was much better from the home side, though, and they continued to push for the opening goal with Clohessy and then Pritchard both going close.

Cisak was called upon shortly afterwards as he needed to punch clear with Akinde closing in, he took a whack off the Barnet man but was fine to continue.

Orient continued to play much better football and Clohessy provided a wonderful ball into the box in the 65th minute but Simpson and Pritchard couldn’t get on the end of it.

The latter two were involved again four minutes later when James, Pritchard and Cox combined on the right side, Cox picked out Simpson in the box, but he fired just wide of Stack’s goal.

Again Hendon’s team were playing much better football and it seemed only a matter of time before the opener arrived. The home supporters were urging their side on too with cries of ‘come on Orient’ ringing around Brisbane Road.

In the 74th minute that opening goal finally came. Clohessy played Cox in down the right, he picked out Simpson and the forward, who struggled so much last year, volleyed into the ground and found the net despite the efforts of Stack.

The relief was clear inside the stadium and the celebrations which occurred afterwards, with all the players together, showed the complete contrast in atmosphere at the club compared to last season.

Hendon didn’t need to wait too long to watch his side get a second either as a minute later they doubled their advantage.

Pritchard did brilliantly to win the ball and after it was worked to Clohessy, his cross in the box caused problems for the Barnet defence and McCallum was able to capitalise as he smashed the loose ball into the corner.

He celebrated with what is now becoming his trademark salute and the noise inside Brisbane Road was fantastic.

All of a sudden the home side looked completely relaxed and were knocking the ball around with ease. The pressure had eased off now.

Hendon introduced Alan Dunne and Blair Turgott for their debut shortly afterwards with the game nearing its conclusion, although eight minutes of stoppage time was surprisingly added on.

The O’s head coach wasted some time by bringing Ollie Palmer on for his debut, McCallum leaving the pitch to a standing ovation.

Despite the lengthy addition time, Barnet didn’t look like scoring and Orient life under Hendon started with a win and a clean sheet. It couldn’t have gone much better.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Shaw, Essam, Baudry, Clohessy, James, Moore (Dunne 84), Pritchard, Cox, Simpson (Turgott 88), McCallum (Palmer 90).

Unused substitutes: Woods, Ling, Moncur, Kashket.

Barnet: Stack, Johnson, Dembele, N’Gala, Hoyte (Gambin 81), Vilhete (Muggleton 66), Weston, Yiadom, Togwell, Akinde, Gash (Stevens 87).

Unused substitutes: Stephens, Nelson, Champion, Batt.

Attendance: 6,151 (905 Barnet supporters).

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