Orient beaten again by Exeter as Simpson has a day to forget

Jay Simpson failed to score from the spot against Exeter City (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Jay Simpson failed to score from the spot against Exeter City (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Archant

Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Exeter City 3

Jay Simpson failed to convert two penalties late on for Leyton Orient as they were beaten again by Exeter City.

Ollie Palmer put Ian Hendon’s side ahead inside the opening minute, but shocking defending contributed towards the visitors leading 3-1 at the break.

The O’s looked void of ideas for much of the second half, but were awarded two spot-kicks in the final 15 minutes of the match.

But the top goalscorer in League Two hit the post with his first effort before seeing his second saved as the east Londoners suffered a seventh league loss of the season.

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Hendon made one change from the team that started at Stevenage with Jean-Yves M’voto back fit and coming in for Frazer Shaw.

The former West Ham United youngster dropped to the bench with Cole Kpekawa slotting in at left-back.

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Alongside Shaw was Sammy Moore – among the replacements for the first time since injuring a capsule in his knee against former club AFC Wimbledon on November 28.

Scott Kashket and young Hull City winger Calaum Jahraldo-Martin provided the attacking options for the O’s on the bench.

Former Orient loanee Jayden Stockley started for the Grecians as did the dangerous Tom Nichols.

He scored twice against the east Londoners in the previous meeting between the two teams earlier in the campaign, which finished 4-0 in favour of Paul Tisdale’s side.

The O’s got the match underway and made a breathtaking start as they went ahead with just 27 seconds on the clock.

After an early spell of possession, Bradley Pritchard played an intelligent pass to Jobi McAnuff in the area.

Orient’s number 11 showed great composure to dink the ball into the centre where Palmer chested past Bobby Olejnik and into the net.

It was exactly the type of start Hendon and his side would have wanted at a chilly Brisbane Road.

Palmer netted twice in the last home match against Portsmouth and took his tally for the league campaign to four with that early effort.

Exeter settled afterwards, but in the 13th minute the hosts could have threatened the away goal some more.

Blair Turgott collected the ball around 35-yards-out and had Sean Clohessy free to his right, but instead decided to shoot and dragged his shot well wide.

A minute later and that wasted opportunity looked costly as the Grecians got back on level terms.

David Noble’s cross into the box went over M’voto’s head and Stockley snuck in at the back post to nod in ahead of Clohessy.

It was bad marking by the O’s right-back, but goalkeeper Alex Cisak might have been able to come out and collect the cross.

Exeter started to get on top afterwards as Danny Butterfield drove over the crossbar before Nichols had a shot saved – although he was offside so it wouldn’t have counted.

Unfortunately in the 23rd minute Nichols was given another sight at goal and this time he made no mistake.

Orient failed to pick up men in the box and a deflected shot by Alex Nicholls came to his almost namesake Nichols at the back post.

Nichols managed to divert his header towards the centre of the goal and Cisak could only push it into the corner.

Boos soon rang out at Brisbane Road and Clohessy showed his frustrating by booting the post.

Hendon’s men looked to respond and Kpekawa put in a wicked delivery from the left three minutes after the goal, but it evaded everyone in the box.

Just before the half an hour mark and Exeter nearly added to their total when they got in behind the O’s defence.

It was three against one, but Nicholls decided to shoot rather than pick out a team mate and Cisak blocked well.

The pressure was growing from the Grecians and in the 31st minute they did make it 3-1 to make the atmosphere inside Brisbane Road even more toxic.

A simple ball over the top from Christian Ribeiro picked out Stockley in the box and he brilliantly volleyed into the corner.

It was a wonderful finish from the former Orient man and chants of ‘Hendon out!’ were loudly sung by most of the home supporters.

The hosts tried to respond as Turgott dribbled into the box, but was fairly tackled despite some calls for a spot-kick.

Palmer then had a header easily saved before the visitors hit the crossbar through Ribeiro.

He picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled an effort onto the top of the woodwork, but fortunately for Hendon and his side it bounced away to safety.

Simpson was involved two minutes before the break when Clohessy picked out the League Two top goalscorer in the box.

He could only head wide before Exeter went close again as Nichols raced through on goal and Connor Essam needed to make an excellent last ditch block to stop it going 4-1.

Three minutes of stoppage had been added on by this point and when referee Graham Hill blew for half time more loud boos could be heard.

After starting off so brightly, diabolical defending from the hosts contributed to them trailing 3-1 at the interval.

Hendon introduced Jahraldo-Martin for his home debut and Shaw at the break – replacing M’voto and Turgott.

Orient switched to the diamond in midfield with Payne the deepest of the four and McAnuff and Pritchard on the left and right.

Jahraldo-Martin was at the point and immediately got involved by having a long rage shot blocked.

Palmer then caused a nuisance in the box and crossed in for Simpson, but his effort was well blocked.

Pritchard then delivered a dangerous ball into the box that was turned behind before McAnuff tried his luck and was denied.

The O’s had started strongly again, but needed goals quick and with 10 minutes of the second half played they had been unable to reduce the arrears.

Exeter were defending well and it was the away supporters making all the noise at Brisbane Road.

Orient’s goalscorer was doing his best to cut the deficit, but his cross was too close to Olejnik before Clohessy put in a excellent delivery.

It dropped for Palmer, but the Grecians goalkeeper was brave and dived at his feet to stop the chance.

In the 65th minute the home supporters started flashing the lights on their phones and singing ‘we’re f***ing bored, we’re f***ing bored like they did against Yeovil Town on December 19.

Loud chants of encouragement then come from the Orient fans as they looked to inspire their side.

Simpson had a free kick blocked by the wall, but the O’s were looking void of ideas against a well organised Exeter back four.

McAnuff had a strike from outside the area that went just wide with 12 minutes remaining, but time was running out for the hosts.

But Hendon’s men were given a lifeline in the 79th minute when Clohessy was brought down in the box by Craig Woodman.

Referee Hill pointed to the spot and Simpson stepped up and struck it well enough, but his shot hit the post and flew away to safety.

Orient’s chances of salvaging anything from the game virtually went with that miss and Kashket was introduced shortly afterwards.

Unbelievable another spot-kick was given to the hosts six minutes from time as Jahraldo-Martin did well to get out of a tight space before rolling the ball into Simpson’s path.

Just as he was about to shoot, Woodman got on the wrong side of him and brought the leading marksmen in the division to the ground.

Another penalty was given, but Olejnik guessed the right way and Simpson’s effort was parried away from goal.

The O’s continued to press and Kashket picked out Simpson at the back post on the stroke of full time, but he headed over when it seemed easier to score.

Five minutes of stoppage time were added on at Brisbane Road, but Hendon’s side couldn’t create anything of note and were beaten again by Exeter.

They drop to 11th in the table after this defeat, but are still only two points outside the play-off positions ahead of facing Wycombe Wanderers next weekend.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, Essam, M’voto (Shaw 46), Kpekawa, Turgott (Jahraldo-Martin 46), Payne, Pritchard (Kashket 82), McAnuff, Palmer, Simpson.

Unused substitutes: Grainger, Dunne, Moore, Moncur.

Exeter City: Olejnik, Butterfield, Woodman (McAllister 88), Noble (Oakley 69), Ribeiro, Holmes (Davies 86), Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Stockley, Brown.

Unused substitutes: Hamon, Hoskins, Morrison, Tillson.

Attendance: 5,758 (529 Exeter City supporters).

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