Steve Davis happy to see more fight from Leyton Orient despite losing 2-1 at Gillingham in FA Cup first round
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Former Crewe Alexandra boss frustrated with performance of referee John Brooks, but encouraged by second half showing in Kent
Steve Davis was pleased with Leyton Orient’s second half showing after they exited the FA Cup in the first round following a 2-1 defeat at Gillingham.
Goals from Josh Parker and Tom Eaves put the Gills two goals in front, but a James Dayton free kick pulled one back for O’s.
Despite pushing and creating plenty of chances in the second half, they were unable to get back on level terms and can now concentrate on the National League.
“I thought it was a brilliant second half and we were much the better team in the second half,” said Davis.
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“We took the game to them and changed our shape a little bit at half time and they obviously edged the first half.
“Although their were not a massive amount of chances created, we didn’t really create anything or get up the pitch or ask another questions, but right from the first whistle of the second half we did that.
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“We played some terrific football and created some opportunities and the goalkeeper (Tomas Holy) kept them in the game.”
Holy made fine saves to deny David Mooney and Jamie Sendles-White while Orient squandered some other opportunities.
The introduction of Alex Lawless helped O’s and they switched from a 5-3-2 to a 4-1-2-1-2 at half time.
Davis added: “Alex was good and he sat in front of the back four, which allowed the full-backs to get on a bit more.
“We know what he does in there. He sits and holds and keeps the ball ticking over, which he did very well.”
Orient’s head coach was left unhappy with the performance of referee John Brooks, however, after he allowed Gillingham’s second goal to count.
Sendles-White and Eaves battled for the ball and the referee waved play on after the pair came together on the edge of the area.
Davis felt his centre back had been fouled, but the goal was allowed to stand and in the end, it proved crucial.
He added: “I can’t talk about referees, but I don’t think we’ve had a good one all season and he was probably up there with some of the worst.
“The second goal was diabolical and I don’t know how he hasn’t seen that because it is almost like a taekwondo move.
“He (Eaves) pulled him (Sendles-White) over and we’ve watched it and watched it and no other decision could have been made than a foul our way and in the end that’s been costly.”