Paul McCallum’s brace not enough for Leyton Orient as Fulham knock them out of English Football League Cup
- Credit: Archant
English Football League Cup first round: Leyton Orient 2 Fulham 3
Paul McCallum scored his first competitive goals for Leyton Orient since August 22 last year, but it wasn’t enough to earn them a place in the second round of the English Football League Cup.
Cauley Woodrow’s brace had put Fulham 3-0 up at Brisbane Road inside an hour, but Andy Hessenthaler’s substitutes turned the tide for the hosts.
McCallum and Cox were introduced soon after and combined twice against the Championship side, but O’s bowed out after a brave effort.
Hessenthaler made five changes to the team that started at Cheltenham Town in the League Two opener last weekend.
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Sam Sargeant replaced Alex Cisak in goal and in the process made his first competitive start at Brisbane Road.
Nicky Hunt, Aron Pollock and Callum Kennedy also started with Yvan Erichot at the heart of defence.
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Liam Kelly was included from the off this time and partnered captain Robbie Weir in the centre of midfield.
Sandro Semedo was in his usual role of left midfielder with Harry Cornick on the right side.
Gavin Massey, fresh from his goal at Whaddon Road, was just behind O’s forward Ollie Palmer with the hosts in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Both sides made bright starts at Brisbane Road, although chances were at a premium during the opener 12 minutes.
It was the Whites captain and former West Ham United skipper Scott Parker who had the first effort of note.
Pollock headed clear a Fulham corner out to the experienced midfielder and he volleyed goalwards, but Sargeant saved with ease.
Lasse Vigen Christensen was looking bright on the right side for the visitors and came close to creating a couple of opportunities for the Championship side.
Neither come to anything, though, and Orient responded themselves in the 22nd minute of the first half.
Palmer was his usual bustling self and cut the ball back to Massey, who had an effort blocked.
It come for Semedo, on the edge of the area, and his shot was deflected behind for a corner, which eventually came to nothing.
Regardless it was a bright moment for the O’s who were looking disciplined and slowly easing their way into the contest.
The first booking of the game went to Kelly in the 28th minute for bringing down Adetayo Edun near the halfway line.
Fulham’s Dennis Adeniran was the next person to be cautioned, but he didn’t care as it was for celebrating the opening goal of the game.
Sean Kavanagh swung a corner in from the right hand side and Adeniran, on his debut, powered home the header past Sargeant before celebrating with the away fans behind the goal.
It was poor marking by Orient and frustrating given they appeared to have withstood the initially pressure from the west Londoners.
Fulham nearly made it two six minutes before half time when Ryan Sessegnon got forward well and flashed a ball across the box.
Woodrow was so close to converting while Lucas De La Torre just missed the centre at the back post as well.
Hessenthaler’s team responded well, however, with Palmer doing well on the left before cutting back for Kelly.
The O’s midfielder got a shot off quickly, but it was straight at Jesse Joronen and he saved well from eight-yards in the 41st minute.
Less than 60 seconds later and Palmer was involved again, this time on the right, and brought the ball into the box.
Cornick was free at the back post and by the time the Orient forward got his head up, his centre was blocked.
The resulting corner came to nothing and despite one additional minute at the end of the half, it stayed 1-0 at the break.
Fulham got the second period underway and it didn’t take them long to double their advantage.
Scott Parker rolled a free kick for Woodrow in the 51st minute and the striker lashed past Sargeant from 30-yards.
It was a stunning effort and three minutes later it got better for the Whites and the ex-Southend United loanee.
A long ball forward looked to be rolling out of play, Pollock tried to let it go out and Woodrow outmuscled the youngster.
Fulham’s forward raced into the area and fired past Sargeant to make it 3-0 with a long time left in the second half.
Hessenthaler made the decision to bring on McCallum and Cox for Cornick and Semedo just past the hour mark.
Weir played a wonderful ball out to the Orient number seven in the 72nd minute and he did enough to win a corner.
After earning the set piece, Cox went over to take it and delivered a telling cross into the box.
McCallum jumped above everybody else to meet it and his header ended up in the back of the net.
It was a great moment for the duo that suffered cruciate ligament damage last season and gave O’s some hope.
Nigel Atangana replaced Weir before the kick-off as Hessenthaler seeked more energy in midfield.
Massey and Palmer combined well four minutes after the goal and the latter forced Joronen to tip behind.
Orient were suddenly full of confidence and in the 81st minute they reduced the arrears again.
A long ball forward bounced off Massey and Cox delivered a stunning first time cross, which McCallum headed past Joronen.
The Brisbane Road faithful were full of noise now and they believed they could find an equaliser.
Woodrow nearly made it 4-2 five minutes from time, but Pollock blocked his effort and the nerves continue to build for the Championship outfit.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end and McCallum flicked a header wide before Cox’s volley from outside the area was saved by Joronen.
It was the closest O’s would go to levelling the scores and were knocked out after an improved second half display.
McCallum and Cox’s performance would have given Hessenthaler plenty of food for thought ahead of Saturday’s League Two match at home to Newport County.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Hunt, Erichot, Pollock, Kennedy, Massey, Weir (Atangana 73), Kelly, Semedo (Cox 62), Cornick (McCallum 62), Palmer.
Unused substitutes: Cisak, Clohessy, Moore, Gnanduillet.
Fulham: Joronen, Sessegnon, Stearman, Ream, Kavanagh, Parker, Adeniran (Tunnicliffe 64), Christensen, De La Torre (Cairney 88), Edun, Woodrow.
Unused substitutes: Button, Malone, Smith, Ayite, Kalas.
Attendance: 3,855 (1,193 Fulham supporters).