O’s play-off hopes over after defeat at Wimbledon
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: AFC Wimbledon 1 Leyton Orient 0
Leyton Orient will be in League Two again next season after suffering a hugely disappointing defeat at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
Going into the match, a victory for the Dons would ensure the east Londoners couldn’t finish inside the top seven and reach the play-off positions.
And a first half goal from the exceptional Lyle Taylor gave the hosts all three points on a day when they could easily have won by more as they were the better team throughout.
The O’s were without top goalscorer Jay Simpson for the derby clash due to a back injury and Nigel Atangana was another not fit after struggling with a hamstring problem.
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Jerome Binnom-Williams, on-loan from Crystal Palace, dropped to the substitute’s bench with Peter Ramage taking his place at left-back.
Ollie Palmer was given a much deserved start against the Dons while Sammy Moore returned and played for the first time since the Good Friday defeat at Accrington Stanley.
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That loss was almost a month ago and the former Wimbledon midfielder has been hit with a virus since, but returned for the clash at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
With Simpson and Atangana both injured, youngster Sandro Semedo and Aron Pollock were among the replacements.
Moore got big cheers from all the home fans when his name was read out and it was the visitors that got play underway in south London.
Orient started brightly and created an opportunity after two minutes when Palmer challenged for a long ball with Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
It dropped for Blair Turgott on the left and he cut inside, but curled an effort onto the top of the net from 18-yards.
Ramage got forward two minutes later and helped win O’s first corner of the game, but it was cleared before referee Graham Salisbury gave a foul against the away side.
Palmer and Turgott had both started strongly, but in the eighth minute it was the hosts who created the first opportunity of note.
Andy Barcham was picked out on the left and turned Nicky Hunt inside out before forcing Alex Cisak to parry away from goal.
It gave Wimbledon some impetus and they won their first corner of the afternoon when Mathieu Baudry and Tom Elliott challenged for a cross from Barry Fuller.
That came to nothing but Dons kept the pressure on and won two more set pieces before Connor Smith headed wide from the third delivery, by Callum Kennedy.
Although the east Londoners survived that passage of play, they did concede in the 17th minute after poor defending by Ramage.
The Coventry City loanee tried to knock the ball out of play against George Francomb, but the Wimbledon number seven was able to keep it in and progress into the box.
He picked out Elliott, but Baudry brilliantly blocked his low shot before it ricocheted to Taylor and he drilled past Cisak from inside the area.
Orient were struggling to find a response and they were nearly two down midway through the first half.
Shaun Brisley let the ball bounce inside the box and Francomb headed it to Taylor, but Cisak got down low to tip wide of the post.
It was an excellent save and from the following corner, Elliott headed wide as Dons continued to look for a second at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The O’s did briefly threaten in the 31st minute when Turgott picked up a loose ball and his cross was blocked by Fuller’s arm.
But the free kick from Lloyd James was cleared and Sean Clohessy could do little with it on the edge of the area.
A couple of minutes later and Cisak was again called into action following more good play by the home side.
Elliott and Taylor linked up smartly before the former let fly from the penalty spot and Orient’s number one saved and Hunt did well to clear with Smith ready to pounce.
Baudry and Ramage come together eight minutes before half time and gave away a corner as a result.
The pair had words afterwards and Kennedy’s dangerous ball was brilliantly cleared by O’s captain with Paul Robinson in close proximity.
One minute of additional time was added on by the fourth official before referee Salisbury blew for half time.
It had been a hugely disappointing first 45 for the east Londoners and if the result stayed the same, their play-off hopes would be over.
But they come out for the second half and created the first chance of note four minutes after the break.
Clohessy’s ball into the box was blocked and Armand Gnanduillet controlled before firing straight at Roos when well placed.
Wimbledon immediately got on the front foot, though, and went close again in the 54th minute on two occasions.
Elliott held it up really well before having an effort blocked, it come out to Dannie Bulman followed up and Shaun Brisley deflected his shot away from goal.
The Dons appealed for a penalty but referee Salisbury turned them down before O’s pushed for an equaliser.
A Turgott strike was deflected up in the air and Palmer challenged for the ball with Roos and the home custodian couldn’t gather cleanly.
Gnanduillet and Palmer both went for the bouncing ball and another coming together, the latter poked over the crossbar.
Orient were slowly starting to make opportunities and Gnanduillet had a close range effort blocked by Bulman before his cross was cleared.
Wimbledon weren’t about to let their advantage slip and Smith side footed wide following Elliott’s lay-off in the 66th minute.
Four minutes later and the hosts produced some wonderful football with Taylor unsurprisingly heavily involved.
He flicked out to Fuller before his ball into the box should have been cleared by Baudry, he missed his kick, but fortunately Barcham could only fire straight at Cisak.
Gnanduillet volleyed over on the turn minutes later after O’s had kept the ball in the opposition penalty area well.
Scott Kashket was introduced for Clohessy with 16 minutes left, but again the youngster was put out wide – not in his favoured position.
Referee Salisbury briefly stopped play when Dons substitute Ade Azeez had some jewellery on and after that was sorted out, Bulman dragged a shot well wide.
Time was running out for the east Londoners and seven minutes from time they were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box.
Kashket could only hit the wall, though, before James’ follow up strike was weak and Roos gathered with ease.
Semedo was given his league debut two minutes later and took the place of Turgott with just five minutes remaining.
It was all Wimbledon, however, and substitute Azeez poked into the side netting almost immediately after the substitution.
The fourth official signalled for four additional minutes at the end of the 90, but O’s hopes of reaching the play-offs were all but over.
Orient were unable to create a final opportunity and suffered their 15th loss of the campaign and drop to 14th as a result.
AFC Wimbledon: Roos, Fuller, Robinson, Charles, Kennedy, Francomb (Rigg 71), Bulman, Smith, Barcham, Elliot, Taylor (Azeez 77).
Unused substitutes: Shea, Akinfenwa, Fitzpatrick, Sweeney, Murphy.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Baudry, Brisley, Ramage, Clohessy (Kashket 76), Moore, James, Turgott (Semedo 85), Palmer, Gnanduillet.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Payne, Binnom-Williams, Jahraldo-Martin, Pollock.
Attendance: 4,732 (809 Leyton Orient supporters).