O’s beaten at home by Plymouth and play-off hopes slowly fading

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler looks on (pic: Simon O'Connor/TGSPHOTO)

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler looks on (pic: Simon O'Connor/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Simon O'Connor /LOFC/TGS Photo

Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Plymouth Argyle 3

Leyton Orient’s hopes of finishing in the play-offs look all but over following a 3-1 home defeat to Plymouth Argyle tonight.

Jake Jervis scored twice after the break, having come on as a first half substitute, to seal the points for the visitors.

Lloyd James pulled one back from the penalty spot to make it 2-1, but the hosts were well beaten come the full time whistle.

The O’s picked the same team that beat Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 at the weekend, but made a change to the substitutes bench.

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Sammy Moore returned to the match day squad for the first time since the draw at York City on April 2.

Josh Koroma was the man to miss out, but fellow youngster Sam Sargeant and Scott Kashket were among the replacements.

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Kevin Nolan once again wasn’t involved while former Orient defender Gary Sawyer was only a substitute for Argyle.

Captain Mathieu Baudry, after receiving a cut on Saturday, was wearing a head bandage for the clash and the hosts made a great start.

James was on the ball early, found Nicky Hunt and the former Bolton Wanderers defender passed into Jay Simpson.

O’s top goalscorer turned smartly before letting fly from 25-yards and seeing his effort deflected behind for a second minute corner.

James took the set piece and it was initially cleared before Blair Turgott beat his man and had a cross put behind the Argyle goal.

Again the corner was cleared before it come back to James and his long forward ball was missed by Armand Gnanduillet.

Simpson was just behind the French forward, though, but critically could only get a weak touch when a couple of yards out and the chance was gone.

It was an impressive start from the east Londoners, but in the 10th minute Plymouth gave a glimmer of their quality.

Reuben Reid and Graham Carey exchanged quick passes before the latter let fly, but his shot was weak and Alex Cisak comfortably saved.

Six minutes later and the visitors threatened again when Baudry could only head out to Jamille Matt and his fizzed cross couldn’t be converted by Reid.

Argyle were growing in confidence now and roared on by their excellent travelling support went even closer in the 18th minute.

Carey was involved again and passed into Ben Purrington, just inside the penalty area, and he tried to chip Cisak. His effort went over the Orient goalkeeper, but smashed against the crossbar before it was cleared.

The away side were on top now and a foul by Nigel Atangana on Carey gave them another opportunity to trouble the O’s goal.

Plymouth’s number 10 floated the ball into the box and captain Curtis Nelson, at full stretch, could only poke wide.

A poor header by Shaun Brisley allowed the visitors a needless corner moments later in the 26th minute, but fortunately it come to nothing.

Carey had influence the game hugely in the opening half an hour and nearly tested Cisak in the 33rd minute, but his low free kick went wide.

Argyle were forced to make an early change when the dangerous Reid picked up an injury and Jervis replaced him.

It helped give Orient more of a foothold in the game as Atangana fired well wide from distance following a quick counter.

The O’s built up ahead of steam three minutes before half time when Hunt dribbled past two opponents and into the box.

His cross was partially cleared out to Sean Clohessy and his drilled effort was blocked before Atangana’s shot suffered the same fate and the visitors cleared.

With two minutes of stoppage time added on, it seemed like there would be one last chance of the half and it proved to decisive.

Hunt was adjudged to have fouled Carey near the touchline – a decision which was met with fury from the Orient players and fans.

Plymouth didn’t care though as Carey swung the free kick in and Peter Hartley ran in unmarked to volley in the opening goal.

It was hugely frustrating for the hosts and the half time whistle shortly followed with Andy Hessenthaler telling referee Kevin Johnson exactly what he thought of the decision to award a free kick as they walked off the pitch.

And probably to O’s delight, there was a change of official at the break as Johnson was replaced by Anthony Da Costa due to an Achilles injury.

But the east Londoners couldn’t build any momentum straight after the restart as Jerome Binnom-Williams required treatment after clashing with Jervis.

Fortunately he was able to continue and it was Plymouth that made a change due to injury as Carl McHugh limped off with Jordan Forster taking his position

The second half had started at a subdued pace, but Luke McCormick did save a Gnanduillet header in the 58th minute from a James corner.

With the tempo slow, Orient made a change and brought on Ollie Palmer to a big cheer in the 63rd minute.

Immediately the big man had an impact as he blocked a ball forward, passed into Turgott and he tried to find a way past Forster.

Turgott went to ground with Forster tugging his shirt, but the replacement referee decided to book the former West Ham United winger for simulation.

Orient were looking much better now and Simpson and Palmer linked up smartly before Binnom-Williams had a shot deflected behind.

James’ resulting corner came to nothing and Scott Kashket was introduced for his first appearance in an O’s shirt since January 16.

The youngster was out on the left with Turgott now hugging the right touchline, but Argyle were defending well.

And after winning another free kick in the 78th minute, they doubled their advantage at Brisbane Road.

Carey curled in a wonderful whipped ball and Jervis was on hand to stoop low and head past Cisak and into the corner.

It seemed like game, set and match at that point, but Palmer had other ideas and showed his class eight minutes from time.

He chased a hopeful ball forward, headed past Hartley before Forster clipped him inside the penalty area.

Referee Da Costa pointed to the spot and James made no mistake, sending McCormick the wron way to give Orient hope with seven minutes left.

Calaum Jahraldo-Martin come on for Turgott in the 86th minute as O’s management team made their final roll of the dice.

And when the fourth official signalled there would be six additional minutes at the end of the 90, the hosts had even more hope.

But in the third minute, a poor header by Baudry allowed Matt to get in on goal and shoot towards Cisak.

Although the French defender got back to deflect the effort, it only fell for Jervis and he rifled low into the corner to spark jubilant celebrations for the away side.

The full time whistle followed and with AFC Wimbledon winning at Dagenham & Redbridge, Orient are five points off seventh place.

They are now 11th in the table ahead of travelling to take on the Dons this weekend and defeat their would signal the end of their promotion hopes.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Baudry, Brisley, Binnom-Williams, Clohessy (Kashket 70), James, Atangana, Turgott (Jahraldo-Martin 86), Simpson, Gnanduillet (Palmer 63).

Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Payne, Moore, Ramage.

Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, Purrington, McHugh (Forster 56), Houghton, Boateng, Carey, Reid (Jervis 37), Matt (Wylde 90).

Unused substitutes: Dorel, Sawyer, Wylde, Harvey, Tanner.

Attendance: 4,908 (1,037 Plymouth Argyle supporters).

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