Omer Riza’s Leyton Orient suffer record-equalling defeat at Brisbane Road to Wycombe Wanderers
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Wycombe Wanderers 2
Two first-half goals for Wycombe Wanderers handed Leyton Orient a record-equalling eighth consecutive defeat at Brisbane Road in Omer Riza’s first match in charge.
The O’s were more than holding their own until Tom Parkes was shown a straight red card in the 27th minute.
But poor defending resulted in Wycombe scoring twice before the break to leave Orient even closer to the National League.
Riza made four changes to the team which lost 3-0 at Crawley Town last weekend and was without several players due to injury.
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Myles Judd missed out with a back problem, so Teddy Mezague replaced him as O’s lined up in a 3-4-3 formation.
Steven Alzate dropped to the bench with Jens Janse coming in and making his first appearance since November 8.
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Nigel Atangana missed out completely while Gavin Massey was ruled out with a knee problem, so Michael Collins and Rowan Liburd replaced them.
Alex Cisak remained on the sidelines with a groin injury and was joined by Charlie Grainger, who had a similar issue.
O’s under-18 goalkeeper Arthur Janata made his first appearance on the bench and was handed the 39 shirt.
Orient got proceedings underway and made a good start at Brisbane Road with Josh Koroma involved from the off.
The O’s number 28 combined neatly with Liburd after four minutes and Koroma raced into the area, but was denied by Jamal Blackman.
Riza’s team continued to push for the opener and Mezague had a header cleared off the line by Myles Weston.
Koroma was looking good and won O’s a free kick after eight minutes, but Callum Kennedy’s effort was easily saved.
Wycombe demonstrated their threat less than 60 seconds later as Will De Havilland headed Sam Saunders free kick over.
Orient continued to press and Koroma was in the thick of the action, as his shot was deflected wide in the 11th minute.
After a strong start, the Chairboys slowly worked their way back into the contest and should have won a penalty in the 19th minute.
Adebayo Akinfenwa brought a throw down inside the area and volleyed towards goal, but Mezague blocked the effort with his hand.
Despite referee Charles Breakspear being close to the incident, he waved play on and no penalty was given.
Soon after and Sandro Semedo tested Blackman before Koroma threatened on two more occasions.
It had been a brilliant opening period for the 18-year-old, yet things were going to get a lot harder for Orient.
Parkes looked to nick the ball off Garry Thompson in the 27th minute and caught the Wycombe ace.
It was a high challenge, but perhaps a yellow would have been fair, but referee Charles Breakspear pulled out a red card.
Breakspear had made a similar decision back in September which resulted in Orient captain Robbie Weir being sent off against Plymouth.
After a solid start, O’s were now preparing to play over two thirds of the match with just 10 men.
Riza changed Orient’s formation to a 4-4-1 following Parkes dismissal and it didn’t take long for Wycombe to get on top.
Joe Jacobson got a free kick up and over the wall, but Sargeant was able to claim with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Moments later and Orient conceded the opener as the Chairboys made the most of some poor defending.
Akinfenwa chested down a long ball and Kennedy’s attempted clearance hit his own team-mates Michael Collins.
The ball rolled perfectly for Matt Bloomfield, who stroked the ball past Sargeant to give Wycombe the lead.
If O’s were unhappy after that moment, then two minutes later they were even more angry at Brisbane Road.
Saunders played a perfectly waited ball forward and Janse and Chairboys winger Weston chased.
Janse tried to allow the ball to roll for Sargeant, but was given a shove by Weston so the pair collided.
The ball rolled free and Weston tapped into the empty net and despite remonstrations, the goal stood.
It was another controversial moment involving referee Breakspear and his officials, but Orient’s defending left a lot to be desired.
Two minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the first half, but O’s got in just the two goals behind.
Manager Riza was sent off at the break for something he said towards the referee, so Orient faced more problems.
In the 50th minute there were heartwarming scenes at Brisbane Road, as everybody took part in a minute’s applause in memory of support Frankie Bish, who passed away on Thursday.
With Riza in the stands, Frederico Morais, who was previously O’s Foundation Phase Lead coach, was Orient’s leading presence on the touchline.
Kelly was trying to get the hosts playing again and put Liburd through in the 63rd minute, but Blackman saved with ease.
It was nearly 3-0 just two minutes later, as Saunders let fly from range and Sargeant brilliantly tipped over.
Tristan Abrahams was introduced straight after with Janse making way with 25 minutes remaining.
Aaron Pierre was the next person to go close as his volley skimmed the crossbar, but it stayed just 2-0.
The game was petering out now and the next change by O’s was to bring on Sam Dalby for Liburd.
Orient did create a decent opening in the 78th minute when Semedo brought the ball forward and it was knocked into Abrahams path, but Blackman saved.
Alzate came on with 10 minutes to go as the impressive Koroma made way before the fans turned their attention to matters off the pitch.
Cries of ‘Becchetti out!’ and ‘sack the board’ were loudly sung inside Brisbane Road by most of the supporters.
Even the Wycombe fans started joining in towards the end of the match before the full time whistle eventually followed.
All of the Orient supporters applauded the players off the pitch while chanting Becchetti out.
It is another defeat for O’s, however, and they are nine points from safety with just six games remaining.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Hunt, Mezague, Parkes; Janse (Abrahams 65), Collins, Kelly, Kennedy; Semedo Liburd (Dalby 73), Koroma (Alzate 80).
Unused substitutes: Janata, Moncur, Ochieng, Clark.
Wycombe Wanderers: Blackman; Harriman, De Havilland, Pierre, Jacobson; O’Nien (Gape 89), Bloomfield, Saunders (Freeman 72); Weston (Wood 78), Akinfenwa, Thompson.
Unused substitutes: Richardson, Jombati, Hayes, Kashket.
Attendance: 4,526 (766 Wycombe Wanderers supporters).