More terrible defending sees Leyton Orient lose at Crawley Town
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Crawley Town X Leyton Orient X
Poor Leyton Orient defending consigned the O’s to a fourth consecutive defeat in League Two with relegation appearing a formality now.
Danny Webb’s team impressed during the opening 20 minutes at Crawley Town, but trailed by three goals at the break.
Each of the Red Devils goals came from headers and all of them could have been avoided had O’s defended better.
It was another sorry afternoon for Orient and with seven games remaining, they look destined to go down this season.
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The O’s made four changes to the team which suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers last weekend.
Alex Cisak and Michael Collins missed out with groin and calf injuries respectively and were replaced by Sam Sargeant and Steven Alzate.
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Michael Clark dropped to the bench with Nicky Hunt fit to start while Aron Pollock wasn’t part of the squad, as Callum Kennedy returned at left-back.
Crawley included two former Orient players in their starting XI, although neither were Dean Cox.
The O’s legend was among the substitutes, as Glenn Morris played in goal while Jimmy Smith captained the Red Devils.
Although the sun was shining in West Sussex, the wind was strong and looked set to cause both teams problems at Broadfield Stadium.
Before the match a minutes silence was observed to honour those affected by the tragic events in London on Wednesday.
Orient got proceedings underway after and settled straight with Josh Koroma firing into the side netting after three minutes.
Just before the 10-minute mark O’s produced some more decent football as Alzate picked out Massey, but he could only win the visitors a throw.
It had been a bright start for Webb’s team, but he was forced to make a change in the 12th minute.
Tom Parkes picked up a knock and couldn’t continue, so Teddy Mezague came on for his first appearance since the 5-0 loss at Accrington Stanley.
Liam Kelly tried his luck from range soon after having spotted Morris off his line, but drilled over the crossbar.
Orient continued to dominate and Koroma came close to putting Alzate through on goal, but Crawley’s custodian was able to clear.
It was brief respite for the hosts as Kelly picked up the loose ball and Gavin Massey nearly got in, but again Morris intervened.
After dominating the opening 23 minutes, O’s then found themselves harshly behind at Broadfield Stadium.
Josh Payne crossed in and James Collins got a slight touch and Sargeant couldn’t get a strong enough hand on his effort.
Five minutes later and Crawley made it 2-0, as Joe McNerney powered a header past Orient’s goalkeeper following another free kick.
It was a fantastic header by the Red Devils centre back, but O’s defending left a lot to be desired.
Webb’s team, after settling well, soon trailed by three, as Mezague demonstrated how not to deal with a high ball.
The French defender backtracked as the ball looped over his head and just allowed Enzio Boldewijn to run in and nod past Sargeant.
Boldewijn’s effort hit the post and despite O’s goalkeeper getting back to the line, the ball had just gone over, so a goal was awarded.
Even though they were three goals, Orient’s youngsters didn’t throw in the towel and looked to find a way back into the match.
Kelly, Alzate and Koroma were all constantly getting on the ball, but they struggled to break down the Crawley back four.
Two minutes of additional time were added on at the end of the 45, yet it went by without note and O’s were three down at the break.
From a defensive point of view, it had been a terrible half for Orient, but Webb didn’t make any changes.
Crawley got the second period underway and like in the first 45, O’s quickly got on the ball and kept possession well.
Orient were struggling to create anything of note, however, and Smith tested Sargeant after poor marking by Atangana.
Soon after and good work by Collins produced an opportunity for Rhys Murphy, but Myles Judd did well to thwart the danger.
Rowan Liburd was introduced in place of Koroma with 62 minutes played, as Webb tried to do something.
The Stevenage loanee had very little effect, though, but Kelly was trying his best to get Orient on the front foot.
O’s captain, alongside Alzate, were looking to pull one back, yet Crawley remained a constant threat.
Massey fired over following a corner before Payne and Boldewijn went close with shots from outside the area.
It should have been 4-0 with 11 minutes remaining as Hunt miscontrolled and Collins got in down the right.
Crawley’s forward crossed in for Boldewijn, but he blazed wide with the goal gapping and soon after he was replaced.
Cox was introduced with 10 minutes remaining and received a warm reception from both sets of supporters.
O’s youngster Henry Ochieng was handed his league debut with nine minutes left at Broadfield Stadium, as the lacklustre Atangana made way.
With the contest drawing to a close, both sets of players appeared to just be going through the motions.
Three minutes of additional time were added on at the end of the 90 and it was a case when the full time whistle was going to follow.
Orient should have been awarded a penalty deep into additional time when Judd found Alzate and he was brought down by Lewis Young.
Referee Trevor Kettle waved play on and shortly afterwards the full time whistle occurred to end another sorry day for O’s.
Webb’s team remain rooted to the bottom and seven points adrift with seven games left of the campaign.
Orient fans were able to bid a final farewell to Cox after full time, as the ex-player thanked all the away supporters.
The O’s will hope to bounce back at home to Wycombe Wanderers next weekend, but there doesn’t look like being a great escape.
Crawley Town: Morris; Young, Yorwerth, McNerney, Blackman (Lelan 73); Djalo (Clifford 57), Smith, Payne, Boldewijn (Cox 80); Murphy, Collins.
Unused substitutes: Mersin, Harrold, Bawling, Henderson.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Judd, Hunt, Parkes (Mezague 12), Kennedy; Alzate, Kelly, Atangana (Ochieng 81), Semedo; Koroma (Liburd 62), Massey.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Moncur, Clark, Abrahams.
Attendance: 2,918 (792 Leyton Orient supporters).