Ollie Palmer wins it for Leyton Orient against old club Mansfield Town
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Mansfield Town 0
Ollie Palmer scored the only goal of the game for Leyton Orient against his former club Mansfield Town to ensure they ended their home campaign with a win.
The forward found the net at the start of the second half for O’s at Brisbane Road who gave a number of youngsters an opportunity.
Aron Pollock in particular made a huge impression and played his part as the east Londoners kept an 11th clean sheet of the League Two season.
Pollock was handed his professional debut for the visit of Mansfield and partnered Shaun Brisley at the heart of the O’s defence.
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Captain Mathieu Baudry missed out through injury and it allowed the 18-year-old to make his first appearances for the east Londoners.
It was one of four changes made by the hosts following last weekend’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
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Sandro Semedo was given his full debut on the left of midfield and replaced Sammy Moore – who dropped to the substitutes bench.
Armand Gnanduillet was also among the replacements this time with Jay Simpson returning following a back problem and Nigel Atangana starting.
Nicky Hunt missed out against his former club due to illness and it resulted in Sean Clohessy dropping back to right-back.
Mansfield got play underway and had the ball in the net after four minutes through Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, but it was ruled out for offside.
Pollock and Semedo both had early touches and looked composed before Blair Turgott made the most of a mistake from Ryan Tafazolli and run through on goal.
The former West Ham United winger fired towards goal, but from a tight angle Scott Shearer saved well.
Semedo was involved again in the ninth minute and got the ball out of his feet and picked out Palmer, but his knock down was gathered by Stags goalkeeper with Simpson ready to pounce.
Orient’s talented winger was involved again a minute later and played the ball into Palmer who bundled his way past Tafazolli.
The former Mansfield striker then rounded Shearer, but couldn’t get the ball out of his feet quick enough and was crowded out.
It was a fantastic opportunity for Palmer and he really should have given Orient a 1-0 lead at Brisbane Road.
Pollock tested Shearer moments later as his long ball forward nearly lopped in and the away custodian had to tip it over the crossbar.
The Stags then should have taken the lead in the 21st minute after good play by Malvind Benning.
Mansfield’s left-back crossed into the box, Alex Cisak come for the cross, but couldn’t get there. Fortunately for Orient, though, Dieseruvwe headed off target with the goal wide open.
Both Pollock and Semedo had looked good in the opening half an hour and it was the latter who created O’s next chance.
Semedo won the ball near his own corner flag and smashed it forward where Simpson plucked it out the air, worked a yard of space, but could only fire wide from 25-yards.
A minute late and the visitors come close to opening the scoring again as Dieseruvew’s low cross was hit towards goal by Reggie Lambe, but an Orient defender blocked it to prevent the ball finding the net.
Cisak was called into action nine minutes before half time and it was a vital contribution from the Australian.
Adam Chapman’s free kick was heading towards the bottom corner before O’s goalkeeper got down low to save and the follow up from Tafazolli was blocked as well to ensure it remained goalless.
The rest of the half was played out at a slow pace with it clear neither side had anything but pride to play for.
During the break the Orient fans got a chance to pay their respects to the under-18 team that recently won their Merit League One title as they were paraded around the pitch.
Moore was introduced for the start of the second half with Atangana making way and O’s created a good opportunity straight after the restart.
Palmer brought the ball down, cut inside smartly, but his low strike hit the post and another chance went begging.
The former Stags striker was involved again in the 48th minute, holding the ball up well before passing out wide to Clohessy.
He tried to dribble past his opponent, but was blocked and Orient were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the away area.
Skipper Lloyd James stood over it and his curled cross was powered home at the back post by Palmer against his ex-club.
The forward wheeled off to celebrate in the 49th minute and ran towards the Mansfield fans after they’d been given him some stick throughout the match.
After the opener the visitors pressed for an equaliser and came close in the 57th minute when the hosts couldn’t clear a corner.
Lambe controlled on the penalty spot and smashed an effort that hit the crossbar before O’s survived.
Jerome Binnom-Williams replaced Peter Ramage moments after that chance while Dieseruvwe was taken off by Mansfield with Chris Clements coming on in his place.
Palmer was again trying to do damage in the 63rd minute and burst past an opponent before drilling a shot wide of goal.
Cisak needed to be alert six minutes later as Clements tried to pick out Matt Green in the area, but the Australian tipped away from goal.
Orient then made their final sub of the afternoon with Semedo going off and being replaced by Josh Koroma – who was making his second appearance for the club and first at home.
James curled a free kick wide 16 minutes from time before Stags slowly upped the ante as they looked to take a point from their penultimate game of the season.
Although they put a number of balls into the O’s box, the east Londonders defended brilliantly and despite five minutes of stoppage time, they held on for the points.
It moves them ninth in the table ahead of their final match of the season at Yeovil Town next weekend and gave a glimpse of the future.
Pollock impressed while Semedo and Koroma both again showed their potential and the hope is that they’ll get more chances next year.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, Pollock, Brisley, Ramage (Binnom-Williams 58), Turgott, Atangana (Moore 46), James, Semedo (Koroma 72), Simpson, Palmer.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Payne, Kashket, Gnanduillet.
Mansfield Town: Shearer, Collins, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning, Blair, Rose (Baxendale 71), Chapman, Lambe (Yussuff 76), Dieseruvwe (Clements 58), Green.
Unused substitutes: Jensen, McGuire, Shires, Law.
Attendance: 4,257 (358 Mansfield Town supporters).