O’s secure comeback win over Romford in FA Youth Cup
- Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES
FA Youth Cup second qualifying round: Leyton Orient 2 Romford 1
Leyton Orient fought back from a goal down to defeat Romford and reach the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup last night.
The visitors took the lead at the Breyer Group Stadium and held a one-goal advantage at the break, but the O’s under-18s eventually responded to make it through with a 2-1 victory.
After struggling in the Youth Alliance South East division this season, Orient’s youth-team found themselves on the back foot early on.
O’s goalkeeper Rhys Byrne had to be on his toes in the opening exchanges as Sofian Maghouz and Jess Norey fired wide for Romford.
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The hosts grew into the tie though, and Brendon Shabani and Ernold Haxhiu went close before the away side took the lead just before the half an hour mark.
Romford were awarded a free kick and Jay Bacon found the net with a stunning effort from 22-yards and it remained 1-0 until half time.
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The O’s come out with more determination after the break and levelled with 59 played through Jaedon Phillips.
Orient’s talented forward controlled inside the area, set himself and then curled into the top corner to level with 30 minutes remaining.
Confidence was flowing now and it didn’t take O’s too long to go in front and take control of the time in E10.
Bradley McClenaghan was in the right place at the right time and finished past Boro goalkeeper Billy Lefevre to make it 2-1 in the 65th minute.
Trailing for the first time, Romford, who were watched by all of the Bostik North club’s first-team and manager Paul Martin, tried to find a response against Orient.
A couple of crosses by Rhys Sika-Nartey caused problems and the second found Norey, but he could only strike over the crossbar from range.
O’s fitness then began to show and Charles Clayden and Shabani almost put the tie to bed in the 85th minute before Phillips headed over.
It didn’t matter in the end, however, as Orient progressed and they will play their third qualifying round tie later this month.
Leyton Orient: Byrne, Palmer (Mulqueen 77), Fleming (Papadopoulous 39), Haxhiu, Marfo, Shabani, Hammond, Kyprianou, Phillips, McClenaghan, Clayden.
Unused substitutes: Campbell, Adeyemi, Ifeanyi.
Romford squad: Lefevre, Harney, Bacon, Ademi, McQueen, Maynard, De Sousa Quissua, Norey, Oyetunji, Maghouz, Mahmoudi, Agu, Ramirez-Saria, Bilal, Adesanya, Sika-Nartey.