Leyton Orient fell short at Walsall
- Credit: PA
League Two: Walsall 2 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Walsall despite taking an early lead through Danny Johnson.
O’s head coach Ross Embleton handed a debut to new loan signing Tunji Akinola while also recalling the likes of Joe Widdowson, Josh Wright, and Jobi McAnuff to replace the suspended Dan Happe, Sam Ling, Craig Clay and Louis Dennis all dropped out.
The hosts got themselves on the front foot in the early proceedings by building pressure although defender Widdowson was there to make a fantastic clearance in the fourth minute of play.
Jobi McAnuff then made a tricky run down the left but his cross was cleared to safety as the visitors started to grow into the contest.
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Orient then opened the scoring thanks to striker Danny Johnson as steered an effort beyond goalkeeper Liam Roberts after a sloppy pass gifted him the opportunity in the 15th minute.
The lead only lasted 10 minutes before the hosts struck back as winger Rory Holden latched onto a through ball after a well-worked passage of play and curled the ball home.
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Moments later attacker Conor Wilkinson got in behind left-back George Nurse but his effort went over the crossbar.
In the 33rd minute the Saddlers were awarded a penalty and up stepped striker Caolan Lavery, who attempted to stutter and slot the ball home in the right corner, but Lawrence Vigouroux was equal to it and denied the hosts the chance of taking the lead.
Early in the second-half the O’s pushed forward as they tried to restore their lead as James Dayton, Danny Johnson and Conor Wilkinson started to link up extremely well to create a few chances.
Walsall then took the lead in the 62nd minute as a blocked effort from Wes McDonald fell for Elijah Adebayo who rifled the ball into the far corner.
Rory Holden then struck the post from the edge of the box, before firing the follow-up over the bar.
Walsall: Roberts, Norman, Scarr, Clarke, Nurse, Holden, Guthrie, Kinsella, McDonald, Adebayo, Lavery.
Unused subs: Rose, Jules, Sinclair, Bates, Nolan, Osadebe, White.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Akinola, Coulson, Widdowson, Brophy, Wright (Turley 78), Cisse (Clay 78), McAnuff, Dayton, Wilkinson, Johnson.
Unused subs: Sargeant, Ling, Sweeney, Kyprianou, Maguire-Drew.