Carabao Cup: Plymouth Argyle 2 Leyton Orient 0
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Leyton Orient fell at the first hurdle in this season’s Carabao Cup after conceding twice in the space of three second-half minutes at Home Park.
Hosts Plymouth were deserving winners on the night, but took almost an hour to break down an obdurate O's side, before Callum McFadzean and Dom Telford netted in quick succession to settle the tie.
Orient's previous trip to this part of Devon, on Valentine's Day 2017, had ended in a dramatic 3-2 win, thanks to two goals from Gavin Massey and a late Sandro Semedo winner, with substitute keeper Sam Sargeant the only survivor from that night.
And the matchday programme also recalled the May 2011 meeting, when O's ran ot 4-1 winners and a young loan striker by the name of Harry Kane was an unused sub.
Interim head coach Ross Embleton made four changes to his starting line-up from Saturday's 3-0 loss at Macclesfield, with Sam Ling, James Brophy, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Conor Wilkinson dropping to the bench as Joe Widdowson, Dale Gorman, Myles Judd and Louis Dennis came in.
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And a foul by Widdowson in the opening minutes led to a free-kick out wide on the Plymouth right, from which the hosts had penalty claims for handball ignored, before an unmarked Ryan Taylor headed a good chance wide.
The hosts had the majority of possession in the opening quarter of an hour, but Orient kept their shape well and Dan Happe was alert to the danger to clear when Danny Mayor got in behind the defence on the Argyle left.
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Mayor was the danger man again on 19 minutes, getting to the byline and seeing a cross deflected up off Marvin Ekpiteta and across the face of goal, before the ball reached Telford and he sent a left-footed shot just past the post.
Orient's first effort on target came seven minutes before the break when Josh Wright found Ekpiteta just inside his own half and he advanced upfield before sending in a low drive from outside the box which Mike Cooper smothered comfortably.
The visitors enjoyed a bit more territorial advantage as the first half drew to a close, winning a couple of corners, but Argyle went close to breaking the deadlock just before the break when former O's defender Gary Sawyer met a corner from the left and saw his header nodded off the line by Judd.
McFadzean fired a right-footed shot past the far post three minutes after the restart, after more probing by Mayor on the left, but Lee Angol flashed a left-footed shot across the face of Cooper's goal moments later.
Argyle fans thought their side had a penalty on 51 minutes as McFadzean went down in the box and referee Anthony Coggins pointed at the turf - but for a goal kick not a spot-kick.
However, they saw their side take the lead on the hour when McFadzean moved in from the left and swapped passes with Taylor, before placing a right-footed shot around Brill and into the far corner.
And it was 2-0 just two minutes later as Telford got away from Ekpiteta and sent a well-struck left-footed drive in off the far post.
O's sent Wilkinson and Brophy on for Dennis and Gorman but needed a superb tackle from Happe to stop Conor Grant from potentially adding a third goal, before Angol's miscued attempt with a quarter of an hour left summed up his frustrating night.
Argyle substitute Byron Moore had the ball in the net late on, following a flowing move, before an offside flag cut short the celebrations.
Happpe neaded over from a Brophy corner as normal time drew to a close and O's will no doubt be pleased to back on home soil on Saturday, when they welcome Stevenage to Brisbane Road for another League Two contest.
Plymouth: Cooper, Riley, J Grant, Canavan, Sawyer, McFadzean, C Grant, Edwards (Baxter 61), Mayor (Randell 75), Taylor (Moore 61), Telford.
Unused subs: Wootton, Sarcevic, Lolos, Palmer.
Orient: Brill, Widdowson, Gorman, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Clay, Judd, Happe, Dennis, Angol, Wright.
Unused subs: Ling, Wilkinson, Maguire-Drew, Sargeant, Brophy, Harrold, Alabi.
Attendance: 5,573 (including 205 Orient fans).