Orient squeeze through on penalties
- Credit: Archant
Capital One Cup: Plymouth Argyle 3 Leyton Orient 3 (Orient win 6-5 on penalties)
Leyton Orient booked their place in the next round of the Capital One Cup with success in a penalty shoot-out in Devon.
Beaten on spot-kicks in last season’s League One play-off final at Wembley after letting a two-goal lead slip against Rotherham, Russell Slade’s men looked set to suffer more heartache against the Pilgrims.
Dean Cox and Mathieu Baudry put the visitors 2-0 up in the first half, but Reuben Reid netted either side of half time for the hosts.
And although Romain Vincelot gave O’s the lead in extra time, Carl McHugh deflected home a late leveller to force the lottery of penalties.
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Gary Sawyer missed from the spot against his former club, but Gary Woods saved from Jason Banton and McHugh to send O’s through.
Orient had beaten Coventry at the same stage last season, before taking Premier League side Hull to extra time in the next round and boss Slade handed Woods, Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson their first starts for the club.
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The visitors started well, with Simpson volleying just wide from a Lloyd James cross on three minutes.
But Slade was forced into an early change as Shaun Batt picked up an injury and had to be replaced by birthday boy Cox with only 11 minutes gone.
The move paid dividends moments later, though, as Cox scored a stunning goal, firing into the top corner from 25 yards after receiving a pass from David Mooney.
Simpson poked an effort straight at Luke McCormick after forcing his way through the home defence on 19 minutes, as Orient looked to double their advantage.
But Plymouth got their first sight of goal on 26 minutes, as captain Curtis Nelson headed over from a corner.
Orient were soon on the front foot again, though, putting together an impressive move before Cox saw his effort charged down on the half-hour mark.
And it was 2-0 seven minutes before the break as Baudry found the back of the net with a close-range header from Cox’s right-wing cross.
Plymouth hit back in the second minute of first-half injury time, as Reid beat Woods at the second attempt to give the home side hope for the second period.
But Orient had the first chance of note after the restart, with McAnuff working the ball onto his right foot only to slice his attempt wide of the mark.
O’s had Woods to thank for a brilliant save with his legs to deny Reid on 55 minutes, but Plymouth were back on terms just past the hour when a long ball found Reid, who did well to get past Nathan Clarke and around Woods to slot home.
And they were inches away from going 3-2 up when Lewis Alessandra curled a shot against the crossbar on 74 minutes.
James limped off to be replaced by Frenchman Vincelot four minutes from time and O’s almost snatched a winner when Cox cut the ball back for Mooney, who was denied by a great McCormick save at close range.
The visitors went close again just before the midway mark in extra time when Cox combined with McAnuff to force another excellent save from McCormick, before Marvin Bartley fired the loose ball over.
But they got their noses in front in the 104th minute when Cox centred and Vincelot ghosted in to head home.
Plymouth would not throw in the towel, though, and squared matters again after the restart when Carl McHugh deflected a shot from Kelvin Mellor past Woods.
And John Sheridan’s side almost won it four minutes from time when Banton hit a post from distance.
Woods pulled off a great save seconds later to deny Marvin Morgan and keep Orient on terms, forcing a shoot-out.
And successful conversions by Mooney, Kevin Lisbie, McAnuff, Clarke, Vincelot and Baudry proved decisive at the end of an entertaining evening in the west country.
Plymouth: McCormick, Mellor, Cox (Allen 107), Nelson, Norburn (Harvey 105), Alessandra, Banton, Reid (Morgan 98), McHugh, O’Connor, Hartley. Unused subs: Bittner, Purrington, Thomas, Smalley.
Orient: Woods, Omozusi, Sawyer, Baudry, James (Vincelot 86), Mooney, McAnuff, Batt (Cox 11), Clarke, Bartley, Simpson (Lisbie 77). Unused subs: Legzdins, Cuthbert, Lowry, Pritchard.
Referee; Tony Harrington.
Attendance: 3,343 (including 141 Orient fans).