Luton in the hat for the next round as Orient concede late on
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round: Luton Town 2 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient excited the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Luton Town after conceding late on like they had done in their Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons.
A fine Danny Green strike put the Hatters ahead, but Lloyd James levelled from the penalty spot in the second half.
Ian Hendon’s side seemed in control afterwards and came close to going ahead themselves before the hosts struck late on to knock the O’s out of the competition.
The Orient boss made five changes to the team that started against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, the maximum he could, with two players making their debut.
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Young goalkeeper Charlie Grainger was selected between the sticks with Alex Cisak unavailable due to international duty while Liverpool loanee Joe Maguire replaced Mathieu Baudry at the heart of the O’s defence.
Baudry missed out through injury at Kenilworth Road whilst Blair Turgott, Scott Kashket and Ollie Palmer all started again as expected.
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Dean Cox, Alan Dunne, Paul McCallum and Jay Simpson were rested with Hendon demonstrating that the league is his focus.
Hendon included various youngsters on the bench with first team scholar Myles Judd named alongside Sandro Semedo, Freddy Moncur and Victor Adeboyejo.
Gary Woods was the only senior member with new signing Jack Payne not included because the paperwork of his loan switch wasn’t finalised in time for the fixture.
Hendon’s side started brightly with James testing the Hatters goalkeeper Mark Tyler inside the opening two minutes.
Bradley Pritchard burst forward and set up Kashket, he ran into the box before passing to James, but his curled effort was easily saved.
Moments later and Palmer tried to find Kashket in the area as the O’s started to impose themselves on the game early.
Luton responded, though, and Maguire was forced to make a superb last ditch tackle in the eighth minute with Green looking to get through on goal and the hosts won the first corner of the game after 10 minutes.
Former Orient man Scott Cuthbert met the set piece by Green, but he put his effort wide under pressure.
The Hatters began to settle, however, and Maguire fouled Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu on the edge of the box. Fortunately for the visitors Green put the free kick over the crossbar.
Green, once of Dagenham & Redbridge, was looking the most threatening player of either side and he had a shot deflected into the side netting in the 22nd minute.
From the resulting corner, taken by Green, another former Daggers player – Scott Griffiths – headed off target when he should have done better.
In the 29th minute Luton did take the lead and unsurprisingly it was Green who made the opener. He created a yard of space outside the box and rifled an effort into the top corner to give Grainger no chance.
It was a quality strike and deserved for the Luton wide-man who had been a clash apart in the opening 30 minutes at Kenilworth Road.
The hosts were well on top and could have doubled their lead two minutes before the break, but Frazer Shaw deflected Green’s low strike away from goal when it appeared to be heading in.
Just before the break Orient created their best opportunity of the match as Turgott picked up the ball in space and threaded a pass to Palmer, but his effort was easily saved and it remained 1-0 to the hosts at half time.
Hendon introduced Moncur for his debut at the break, replacing Clohessy, with Pritchard slotting into right-back and the youngsters taking up a midfield position.
Luton continued to look for a second and Grainger had to be alert when Green crossed into the box, but he saved the difficult delivery well.
Palmer linked up nicely with Turgott in the 55th minute, but his effort was saved. Orient were given an opportunity to get back into the game just two minutes later.
Kashket burst into the box and was brought down by Griffiths and despite a slight delay, referee Nicholas Kinseley pointed to the spot.
It took a little while for the penalty to be taken as Cuthbert was forced to go off through injury, but James sent Tyler the wrong way to level the scores on the hour mark.
The Hatters appeared to gain momentum from that, though, and started attacking the O’s box and Connor Essam made an excellent block to prevent Luton taking the lead.
Even though the hosts looked lively, Kashket was starting to get into the game and seemed a huge threat for Hendon’s side.
He had a snapshot saved by Tyler after good initial work by Palmer as the match entered the final 20 minutes.
Kashket was again in the action moments later as Turgott kept the ball in play and the diminutive attacker chipped over the Luton goalkeeper, but Stephen McNulty made a brilliant clearance off the line.
The rebound came to Moncur but, under pressure, he fired over the bar. Orient continued to attack, though, and Palmer had an shot blocked after Sammy Moore’s centre.
Jack Marriott might have scored for the Hatters in the 79th minute, but he headed over the bar and seconds later was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
Hendon gave a debut to Judd eight minutes from time with the young right-back replacing James and allowing Pritchard to go back into midfield.
Essam might have put Orient ahead in the 84th minute when Sammy Moore’s corner came to him at the back post, but he fired over the bar.
Semedo was introduced shortly afterwards for his debut as penalties loomed at Kenilworth Road.
But with just seconds of normal time remaining Luton took the lead again when Hatters substitute Rob Hall’s effort was deflected into the top corner by defender Stephen O’Donnell.
It was cruel on Orient after an impressive second half display, but like when they lost at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen.
Although two minutes of stoppage time were added on, the O’s couldn’t breach the Luton defence again and lost for just the second time this season.
Luton Town: Tyler, O’Donnell, Smith, McNulty, Cuthbert (Okuonghae 59), Green (McQuoid 85), Griffiths, Marriott, Mpanzu (Hall 72), Lee, Guttridge.
Unused substitutes: Justham, Mackail-Smith.
Leyton Orient: Grainger, Clohessy (Moncur 46), Essam, Maguire, Shaw, Turgott, Moore, James (Judd 83), Pritchard, Kashket, Palmer (Semedo 87).
Unused substitutes: Woods, Adeboyejo.
Attendance: 1,953 (300 Leyton Orient supporters).