Orient romp past Daggers to give Hendon’s men bragging rights

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Leyton Orient 3

Leyton Orient went up to second in League Two after a classy performance against their local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road.

First half goals from Paul McCallum and Lloyd James, from the penalty spot, put Ian Hendon’s team in control.

The east London clash was as good as over when Dean Cox curled in a stunning free kick after the break and the O’s came close to adding a fourth on numerous occasions.

It was an impressive performance by the Brisbane Road outfit, even if Daggers did pull one back late on, and one that will add to the optimism all around the club.

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Hendon kept the same team that started against Barnet on the opening day of the season, but made a change to the substitutes bench.

Young goalkeeper Charlie Grainger replaced Gary Woods, who was at Victoria Road but apparently was unavailable through injury.

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The Orient supporters packed into the ground and were in fine voice before the game and that noise only got louder once the O’s head coach had walked out onto the pitch.

Dagenham got the game underway but it was the visitors that made the better start as they won two corners inside the opening five minutes. The home team had a decent opportunity shortly afterwards, though, when Ashley Chambers crossed into the box.

Alex Cisak’s punch wasn’t the greatest and Ashley Hemmings teed up Jamie Cureton, but his effort against his old club was blocked and Kane Ferdinand deflected the ball wide.

Minutes later and Cureton went close again for Daggers from a corner but the Orient stopper pushed clear and the O’s were able to survive. It had been a frantic start by both teams.

That continued with the hosts looking just as likely to get the opener as Orient, but it was Hendon’s men that took the lead and it was no surprise who made the vital contribution.

Bradley Pritchard received the ball in space and chipped into the box, the Daggers defence headed clear but only to Cox on the edge and he cleverly flicked over the home back four before McCallum headed over Mark Cousins and into the net.

It was Cox’s third assist of the campaign and after seeing McCallum beat Cousins, the Orient forward provided supporters with his trademark salute. They won’t get tired of seeing that this year.

He was nearly able to do his famous celebrations twice more shortly afterwards. The first time in the 25th minute when Pritchard won the ball off Joe Widdowson, drove towards the home goal and tested Cousins.

The ball rebounded out and McCallum, at full stretch, was only able to hook it over the bar. Less than 60 seconds later and he had another opportunity, meeting Sean Clohessy’s cross and beating the Daggers goalie but hitting the crossbar.

Orient were firmly in the ascendancy now and in the 27th minute they were given a great chance to go two up when Clevid Dikamona handled inside the box.

James stepped up and, on his 100th start for the club, beat Cousins to give Hendon’s men a two-goal lead in the 28th minute to the delight of the away fans.

The O’s supporters were in fine voice and their side were in complete control now, comfortably dominating possession and still looking threatening.

Hendon and his team were hungry for more, though, and wanted a penalty three minutes before half time when Simpson and Cousins combined in the box, nothing was given and that was how it finished at the break.

It had been a brilliant first 45 from the visitors and although Daggers enjoyed a good spell, Orient were able to withstand it and make the most of the opportunities that came their way.

The O’s got proceeding underway for the second period and Cureton had an early chance, but Connor Essam got across brilliant to block before Frazer Shaw cleared.

In the 52nd minute the away side nearly made it three when Clohessy and McCallum combined in the box and the ball fell to Cox. He was only able to fire wide. Shortly afterwards and McCallum was picked out in the box by Clohessy, but he headed wide when he should have done slightly better.

Those opportunities weren’t to be costly, though, as Orient made it three in the 56th minute and in some style.

McCallum won a free kick around 25-yards-out and Cox stood over it. He, quite cheekily, rolled the ball forward a few yards whilst the referee wasn’t watching much to the delight of Hendon.

Whether it made a difference or not was hard to judge. What was certain was the class of Cox’s effort. He whipped it over the wall and into the top corner to make it 3-0.

The Orient midfielder ran off in ecstasy and was soon followed by his teams. The away fans were delighted and as it stood the Brisbane Road outfit were going top of the league.

Daggers responded immediately, though, with Christian Doidge forcing Cisak to tip wide and a minute later he made the O’s goalie tip onto the bar before Hemmings headed the rebound wide.

It was a breath scare for Hendon’s team but they quickly got back into their stride and started looking for a fourth.

The home side’s next move was to introduce highly rated 17-year-old Jodi Jones but it did little to stem the flow of the visitors. The away supporters were enjoying themselves too and singing ‘Ian Hendon, he’s one of our own’ on numerous occasions.

Orient were playing some wonderful football now and should have made it 4-0 in the 76th minute. First Ollie Palmer, who had been introduced moments before, went close before Simpson had an effort blocked on the line. Cox had a follow up effort which was also blocked before Simpson headed against the bar.

It was a crazy couple of seconds and it was so easy for the O’s with Dagenham looking short of confidence.

Alan Dunne came on to replace Mathieu Baudry in the 80th minute, the Frenchman limped off but did not appear in too much discomfort. Blair Turgott came on three minutes before full time too as Hendon looked to waste some more time and rest his players ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Stevenage.

Daggers, unfortunately, had the final say as Andre Boucaud picked out Cureton and he brilliantly volleyed over Cisak to reduce the arrears.

It wasn’t to matter too much, however, with Orient remaining on top and after four minutes of stoppage time were played out the final whistle followed. It capped another good display by the O’s and one that will have everyone associated with the club happy.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Passley, Nosworthy, Dikamona, Widdowson, Chambers (Jones 53), Boucaud, Ferdinand, Hemmings, Cureton, Doidge.

Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Connors, McClure, Richards, Hamalainen, Partridge.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, Baudry (Dunne 80), Essam, Shaw, James, Pritchard, Moore, Cox, Simpson (Turgott 87), McCallum (Palmer 71).

Unused substitutes: Grainger, Kashket, Moncur, Ling.

Attendance: 3,336 (1,456 Leyton Orient fans).

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