Koroma and Ekpiteta goals help O’s claim first win of the season
- Credit: Archant
National League: Maidstone United 1 Leyton Orient 2
Leyton Orient secured their first win of the new National League campaign with a 2-1 win away to Maidstone United this evening.
First-half goals from Josh Koroma and Marvin Ekpiteta put Justin Edinburgh’s team in control at the Gallagher Stadium.
Although the Stones pulled one back late on, Orient held on to earn a first three points of the season and boost spirits of the supporters in E10.
The O’s made three changes to the side from Saturday’s draw at home to Barrow with one enforced due to an ankle injury suffered by captain Jobi McAnuff.
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James Dayton replaced the ex-Jamaican international while Myles Judd replaced Sam Ling to make his first appearance of the campaign and attacker Koroma took the place of James Alabi and partnered Macauley Bonne up front.
Charlie Lee captained Orient and Maidstone made a bright start with ex-O’s wingers Blair Turgott and Jamar Loza both trying their luck in the opening five minutes.
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It was the visitors who created the first genuine opportunity of the match with 10 on the clock and they made the most of it.
Koroma showed great skill to beat Will De Havilland and then kept a calm head to fire past Lee Worgan and score his first goal of the season.
Edinburgh had seen his team make the best of starts, but Stuart Lewis almost levelled for the Stones in the 19th minute, but Dean Brill tipped over the crossbar.
Chances continued to be few and far between in the first half, but Orient produced some quality in the 35th minute and it resulted in them doubling their advantage.
James Dayton delivered a superb cross into the area and Ekpiteta was on hand to head home his first goal for the club.
Although two minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the first 45, it remained 2-0 to the visitors at the break.
Maidstone threatened straight after the restart when Oliver Muldoon saw a free kick go over in the 48th minute.
Craig Clay went close minutes later while Dayton’s influence continued to grow, but the wide-man made way just past the hour mark on his first competitive start since he returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
James Alabi replaced him while Ling took the place of Judd with Koroma moving out wide to the right.
Another substitution was made by Edinburgh with 18 left when Alex Lawless come on for James Brophy.
Maidstone boss Jay Saunders also introduced some new faces and one of them pulled a goal back in the 80th minute.
Seth Nana Twumasi crossed into the area and Shamir Mullings headed past Brill to set up a nervy finale in Kent.
Koroma also settled the game with a fine strike from distance which beat Worgan, but hit the post.
As the seconds ticked away, five minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the 90 and Brill soon demonstrated his worth.
The ball came to former Orient man Turgott inside the area and his shot was heading in until O’s number one produced a superb save.
It proved to be the last real action of the game as Edinburgh saw his team hold on for all three points to claim an opening win of the season.
Orient are 10th in the table after four fixtures with six points to their name and crucially remain unbeaten so far.
Up next for the E10 outfit is a home clash with Boreham Wood, who have five points from their first set of matches.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Judd (Ling 62), Coulson, Ekpiteta, Widdowson; Dayton (Alabi 62), Lee ©, Clay, Brophy (Lawless 72); Koroma, Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Happe.
Attendance: 3,037 (630 Leyton Orient supporters).