Leyton Orient suffer heavy defeat in Devon

Lawrence Vigouroux of Leyton Orient

Lawrence Vigouroux of Leyton Orient - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient's new interim manager Jobi McAnuff was brought down to earth by a heavy defeat in Devon.

Having overseen a win on his managerial debut, the Jamaican international saw his side fall two goals down inside a quarter of an hour.

The second Exeter goal came after a mistake by O's goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux and the visitors never really recovered, conceding again either side of the break to ensure a difficult day.

McAnuff made just one change to his starting line-up from Tuesday’s game at struggling Grimsby, with midweek matchwinner Dan Happe in for the unfortunate Adam Thompson, having replaced him off the bench at Blundell Park following his fractured ankle. 

And Jamie Turley did well to cut out a cross in the box in the fourth minute, after Exeter got into the box on the right side, before Tunji Akinola completed the clearance as the hosts appealed in vain for a penalty. 

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The hosts enjoyed more possession in the opening exchanges and opened the scoring on 11 minutes when Ryan Bowman brought the ball down inside the Orient half and played a pass into the path of Joel Randall, in behind Akinola, and he advanced into the box before firing an angled shot through the legs of Vigouroux. 

And it was 2-0 less than two minutes later after a Vigouroux gaffe as Matt Jay cut in from the left and let fly from 20 yards, with the O’s keeper allowing the ball to slip through his hands and over the line. 

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Shellshocked Orient tried to string some passes together after the double setback, with captain Craig Clay’s through ball on the turn releasing James Brophy, but his cross could only find the side netting. 

Nick Freeman got to the byline midway through the half, but his cutback was cut out by the home defence at the expense of a corner, with Turley’s far post header from Dan Kemp’s delivery successfully cleared. 

Turley had clashed with Bowman moments earlier, with referee Charles Breakspear speaking to both players, who then had to be prevented from continuing a discussion by Ouss Cisse. 

And Joe Widdowson received the game’s first yellow card on 27 minutes after clipping Robbie Willmott as he looked to break on the right, with Jay’s free-kick spilled by Vigouroux before being scrambled clear. 

Vigouroux stopped a low shot from Randall at the foot of the near post six minutes before the break, after Akinola had blocked Jay’s shot following another good Exeter move on the left. 

But O’s conceded for a third time soon after when Willmott’s ball in from the right bounced off Randall and hit a post, before Jay bundled home his second goal of the game from close range. 

Clay had a shot blocked at the other end, when a corner was only half-cleared, and Cisse’s follow-up header bounced harmlessly through to City keeper Jokull Andresson. 

Widdowson made way for Conor Wilkinson during the break, with Brophy dropping to left-back and Kemp switching flanks to the left. 

But the second half was barely two minutes old when Randall got in behind Akinola and was brought down in the box, with the Orient defender booked before Jay sent Vigouroux the wrong way from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick. 

McAnuff made two more changes soon after, as Sam Ling replaced Akinola and Kemp made way for Tristan Abrahams. 

The home side saw Randall flash a dangerous ball across the face of Vigouroux’s goal on the hour mark, though, before Andresson made his first save of any note to keep out Wilkinson, who did well to create space for himself in the box on 62 minutes. 

Having waited more than an hour to test City’s keeper Wilkinson saw a 30-yard free-kick beaten away by Andresson three minutes later, after a foul on Abrahams, while Nick Freeman had a shot blocked by the leg of Rory McArdle. 

But those sights of the home goal were all too brief for O’s, who saw Turley become their third player booked for a foul on Bowman with just over a quarter of an hour remaining. 

Randall flashed a shot across goal and beyond the far post on 77 minutes, as the hosts went close to a fifth, while Johnson’s frustrations continued at the other end as Brophy’s long pass ran through to Andresson and the striker made his feelings very clear. 

Clay collected Orient’s fourth yellow card, but was then brought down by Atangana who escaped with a talking to and Wilkinson’s 30-yard free-kick was tipped over by Andresson, before Ling’s header from Brophy’s corner dropped just over. 

McAnuff will be hoping for a response when Stevenage visit the Breyer Group Stadium on Tuesday. 

Orient: Vigouroux, Widdowson (Wilkinson 46), Cisse, Happe, Clay, Kemp (Abrahams 53), Brophy, Akinola (Ling 53), Turley, Freeman, Johnson. 

Unused subs: Sergeant, Dayton, Sweeney, Kyprianou. 

Referee: Charles Breakspear.

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