Ollie Palmer gives Leyton Orient win at Yeovil Town on final day of League Two season
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Yeovil Town 0 Leyton Orient 1
Ollie Palmer scored the only goal of the game at Huish Park to ensure Leyton Orient finished their League Two campaign with a win at Yeovil Town.
His late strike gave the visitors all three points and ensured they finish the season in eighth and six points behind AFC Wimbledon in the final play-off position.
Another positive for the east Londoners was the return of Paul McCallum with the forward making his first appearance during the match since September.
The O’s made three changes to the team that started against Mansfield Town last weekend with youngster Sam Sargeant given his debut.
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After signing a two-year professional contract with the club yesterday, the 18-year-old replaced Alex Cisak at Huish Park with the Australian dropping to the bench.
Nicky Hunt and Sammy Moore came in as well with Blair Turgott among the replacements and Nigel Atangana missing out altogether due to a groin problem.
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Sean Clohessy lined up at right midfield with Hunt behind him and Aron Pollock again partnered Shaun Brisley at the heart of the east Londoners defence.
Andy Hessenthaler included various youngsters on the bench with Freddy Moncur included, a day after signing a one-year professional deal with the club, as well as Myles Judd and Josh Koroma.
The other big news was regarding McCallum who was in the squad for the first time since September 26.
McCallum suffered cruciate knee ligament damage that day at Northampton Town, but was back among the replacements for the clash with the Glovers.
Orient got the match underway and Sargeant had an early touch as he was forced to clear a long forward ball.
From the resulting throw, Francois Zoko, who was on-trial with the O’s during the summer, let fly from just outside the area, but fired over the crossbar.
Yeovil won the first corner of the game and should have taken the lead from Matthew Dolan’s cross when he picked out Nathan Smith six-yards-out.
But the central defender headed over and it was still goalless with quarter of an hour played at Huish Park.
Three minutes later and Brisley needed treatment after falling over innocuously, but was able to continue.
A wonderful piece of skill from Harry Cornick took him past Moore and Clohessy, but Liam Shephard wasted the opportunity and dragged his effort well wide.
O’s were forced to make an early change in the 22nd minute as Brisley couldn’t continue and Turgott replaced him.
It forced a reshuffle at the back with Hunt moving to centre back, Clohessy going to his usual right-back role and the substitute out wide.
Ex-Orient midfielder Marc Laird tested Sargeant two minutes later, but his shot was weak and the young goalkeeper saved with ease.
Neither side was able to create anything of note until seven minutes before half time when Yeovil worked the ball well.
Eventually Shephard controlled in space and tried his luck from 25-yards, but Sargeant got done well to parry away for a corner.
From the resulting set piece, Moore’s clearance was blocked up into the air and O’s goalkeeper was fouled giving the visitors a chance to enjoy a water-break on a hot day at Huish Park.
Jay Simpson was given his first sight of goal just prior to the break when Turgott’s cross found him in the area.
Orient’s top goalscorer chested the ball down, but missed his kick and the chance went. Two minutes of additional time was signalled, but it went by without either goalkeeper being tested.
The east Londoners began the second period much brightly and forced Artur Krysiak into action within three minutes of the restart.
O’s kept the ball well before Turgott played in Clohessy down the right, but his cross-cum-shot was easily saved.
It didn’t take long for the Glovers to stamp their authority on the contest again and they had the away side penned in their penalty area for a couple of minutes.
First Liam Walsh let fly from 25-yards and Sargeant made a fine save before Yeovil won themselves a corner.
After defending the initial cross, Walsh’s header was pushed away by the Orient custodian before Ramage cleared.
Connor Roberts then had a scuffed shot which Sargeant easily saved as they had appeared to whether the storm.
Unfortunately the east Londoners were dealt a blow in the 57th minute as Pollock, after going down numerous times, was forced off with an injury.
Koroma replaced him and Moore then let fly from range, but Krysiak was equal to it and it remained goalless.
Orient won their first corner of the game on the hour mark thanks to good work from Palmer, but Peter Ramage could only head Lloyd James corner over.
And then the moment a lot of O’s supporters had been waiting for as McCallum was getting ready to come on.
With 17 minutes remaining, the former West Ham United forward was introduced in place of Simpson to make his first appearance since the end of September.
It was Yeovil nearly celebrating six minutes later, though, when Shephard’s corner found Smith, but again the defender, like in the first half, failed to take the opportunity and volleyed off target.
McCallum had the ball in the net in the 86th minute, but referee Philip Gibbs had already pulled play back to give Orient a free kick.
But it wasn’t to matter as a minute later and they did score, but it wasn’t the returning forward, but the striker that has been present all season.
Yeovil couldn’t clear and Palmer controlled before curling into the net via the post to score his ninth goal of the season.
It gave the 317 away fans something to cheer about before three minutes of additional time were added on at Huish Park.
The Glovers won a free kick in the last play of the match and goalkeeper Krysiak went up for the set piece. It was swung in and O’s very own Sargeant punched clear for a corner with Yeovil’s goalie staying up for the delivery.
But once again Sargeant was there to claim the cross, he sunk to his knees and the full time whisle followed to give the visitors a final-day win.
Although it wasn’t the season they hoped for, the youngsters involved in Orient’s last couple of games gave a glimpse of their potential to show maybe the future is bright for the Brisbane Road club.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak, Roberts, Lacey, Smith, Dickson, Walsh, Dolan, Shephard, Laird (Goodship 62), Zoko (Sowunmi 83), Cornick (Compton 67).
Unused substitutes: Weale, Bird, Jeffers, Lita.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Hunt, Pollock (Koroma 57), Brisley (Turgott 22), Ramage, Clohessy, James, Moore, Semedo, Simpson (McCallum 73), Palmer.
Unused substitutes: Cisak, Kashket, Moncur, Judd.
Attendance: 4,163 (317 Leyton Orient supporters).