Leyton Orient hand fans late Christmas present with another win over Dagenham & Redbridge
PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 26 December 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Leyton Orient 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
A fine second-half performance from Leyton Orient earned them the bragging rights yet again over local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge with a 2-0 win at Brisbane Road.
Goals from Josh Coulson and Macauley Bonne in a 10-minute passage soon after the restart handed Justin Edinburgh a fourth consecutive victory.
For John Still’s Daggers, it was a third straight defeat and a frustrating one having been the better side in the first half at Brisbane Road.
Edinburgh was forced into one change from the side which defeated Maidstone United 2-0 in the National League on Saturday.
Bondz N’Gala’s loan from Daggers expired after the victory at Stones, so Dan Happe came in to replace him while Freddy Moncur earned a place on the bench.
Still also made one change from the Dagenham team which lost 2-1 at home to Eastleigh last weekend.
Matt Robinson earned a recall in place of Kevin Lokko and lined up in midfield with Craig Robson dropping back to partner skipper Scott Doe.
There were a fair amount of links between the two clubs with Sam Ling starting at right-back for Daggers against his old side and Dad Martin, who is director of football at Brisbane Road.
Meanwhile Joe Widdowson lined up for the O’s on the left side of the home back four having moved from Dagenham this summer.
It was not the first battle between the two clubs this season with Orient edging their local rivals in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in October.
The first meeting at Victoria Road ended goalless, but O’s triumphed 1-0 in the replay and it turned out to be Steve Davis’ last victory as head coach of the E10 outfit.
With Edinburgh at the helm now, there was plenty of optimism at Brisbane Road in the lead-up to kick-off.
Dagenham started the better of the two sides and dominated possession during the opening six minutes.
It was therefore no surprise that the first chance went to the visitors in the seventh minute when Corey Whitely curled a corner into the area.
Doe flicked it on towards Morgan Ferrier and he looked to divert it towards goal, but knocked it just past the post from eight-yards.
Orient appeared to briefly settle afterwards as they won their first corner of the game and Jobi McAnuff forced Mark Cousins into a routine save with 10 played.
But back came Dagenham and Whitely was involved three minutes later, yet this time he could only fire a free kick over the O’s crossbar.
A stoppage in play occurred soon after when Boucaud stayed down and the delay in play allowed the hosts to have a mini-team meeting after a lacklustre start.
What followed for the next nine minutes was the ball remaining in the middle of the park for a significant period of play as the game turned scrappy.
If anyone was going to open the scoring, it seemed like Dagenham and they should have done a lot better in the 25th minute.
Jake Caprice got caught out of position and Dan Sparks got in down the left side and looked to pick out Whitely or Ferrier, but Coulson made a timely intervention.
The lack of quality on show from both sides continued as the match passed the half an hour mark without either goalkeeper making a genuine contribution.
Orient slowly began to improve with David Mooney’s contribution growing. Firstly, he controlled Dean Brill’s pass and found Caprice, but his centre was held by Cousins in the 35th minute.
Two minutes later and Mooney was involved again, this time making a crunching tackle on Robinson and the ball rolled to Alex Lawless, who saw a shot deflected out to James Dayton.
The winger cut inside and let fly towards goal, but it went wide and a good opening had been wasted.
Five minutes later and McAnuff showed his class by beating a couple of opponents before he was fouled 25-yards-out.
Orient were unhappy referee Adrian Quelch brought play back after Dayton was picked out in the area, but the decision was made and Happe then curled the resulting free kick just wide.
A single minute was added on at the end of the first half and predictably it went by without any significant to note.
The O’s got the second period underway with both managers hoping for more quality and straight away it was evident from the hosts.
Edinburgh saw his team get some fortune in the 48th minute when Cousins sliced a clearance and Dayton let it roll out for a corner.
Dagenham defended the set-piece well, but could only clear out to Lawless and he brilliantly picked out Dayton near the right touchline.
The Orient winger cut inside and chipped into the area where Coulson powered past Cousins to open the scoring in the 49th minute.
After waiting 10 games to score for his first O’s goal, the on-loan Cambridge United defender now had two in three matches and the deadlock had been broken.
It was nearly 2-0 three minutes later when Lawless wonderfully stroked the ball into the path of Mooney.
Mooney looked up and tried to pick out Bonne in the middle, but his cross was just inches away from the flying Orient forward.
The O’s were firmly on the front foot now and Dayton was next to try his luck, though his low free kick flew wide of the Daggers goal.
Even though the hosts were ahead, the next goal of the game was key and fortunately for Orient it went to them.
Dayton was again involved, as he threaded a fine through ball in behind the visitors back four and Bonne saw his first effort saved by Cousins.
The former Colchester United striker managed to latch onto the loose ball though and fired into the net to make it 2-0 with 59 minutes on the clock.
Dagenham responded five minutes later when Michael Cheek headed down for Sparkes, but Lawless put the winger off and he could only drill wide from 12-yards.
Edinburgh made his first change with 66 played with Mooney going off to a standing ovation after putting in an excellent shift.
Matt Harrold replaced him before Daggers went close again in the 70th minute when Whitely crossed in for Sparks, but he headed over from close range.
Still had seen enough and introduced Lokko and Chike Kandi soon after with Robinson and Cheek making way.
The visitors created another decent opportunity with 16 minutes left when Ferrier got in behind the Orient back four and chipped in for Sparkes, but he volleyed into the side netting and the chance was gone.
Just before that opening the impressive Lawless had gone into the book of referee Quelch after bringing down Sparks when Dagenham were attacking.
It was the former Luton Town midfielders ninth caution of the campaign meaning he will serve a two-match ban if he reaches 10 before March 10.
Orient didn’t need to worry about it now, however, and nearly scored again in the 83rd minute when Jake Howells saw a shot blocked by Dayton.
Dayton latched onto the rebound and ran at the Dagenham left-back before coming inside and curling wide despite having options to his left.
Another change occurred with five minutes left when Dayton was replaced by Jamie Sendles-White.
Still’s side continued to push for a way back into the contest, but O’s were defending strongly and putting in tackles when required.
Five minutes were added on at the end of the 90 and Dagenham wanted a penalty when Ling went down with Lawless in close proximity.
Referee Quelch waved away the appeals and although Craig Robson saw a header hit the crossbar deep into the game, the Orient goal was not to be penetrated.
The full time whistle followed soon after to hand O’s a fourth straight victory in a row and back-to-back clean sheets.
Edinburgh’s men move up to 17th for the time being at least and host Bromley next this weekend before a return meeting with Dagenham on New Years Day (Monday).
For Dagenham, they’ll look to get back on track away to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday after slipping to sixth position.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; McAnuff, Lawless, Clay, Dayton (Sendles-White 85); Mooney (Harrold 66), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Koroma, Moncur.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins; Ling, Doe, Robson, Howells; Boucaud, Robinson (Lokko 70); Ferrier, Whitely, Sparkes; Cheek (Kandi 72).
Unused substitutes: Moore, Howell, Bloomfield.
Attendance: 5,125 (624 Dagenham & Redbridge supporters).