Alberto Cavasin beaten in opening match as Leyton Orient manager at Southend United in EFL Trophy
PUBLISHED: 21:42 04 October 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
English Football League Trophy Southern Group G: Southend United 1 Leyton Orient 0
Alberto Cavasin’s first match in charge of Leyton Orient ended in defeat to local rivals Southend United.
Marc-Antoine Fortune scored the only goal of the Southern Group G English Football League Trophy tie in the 82nd minute.
There was a rare appearance for ex-Millwall captain Alan Dunne, however, who played the whole of the second half at Roots Hall.
Cavasin made six changes to the O’s team which started Saturday’s League Two match at Barnet.
Sam Sargeant replaced Alex Cisak in goal while Aron Pollock was brought into the heart of the defence with Yvan Erichot.
Robbie Weir was included, despite his league suspension, and replaced Harry Cornick while Ulrich Nnomo was handed his full debut in place of Sandro Semedo.
Meanwhile Ollie Palmer and Jordan Bowery linked up in attack with Jay Simpson among the replacements and Paul McCallum rested.
There was a frantic start to the match, although neither team could get the ball down and Cavasin was trying his best to urge his players on.
Nnomo did well in the ninth minute as he brought the ball forward and found Gavin Massey who in turn won the first corner of the game.
Southend defended it with ease and a few moments later Nnomo was involved again at Roots Hall.
Liam Kelly won the ball well in midfield and feed the French winger, but his long range hit was so high it bounced over the stand and out of the ground.
Orient were beginning to settle and went close with 16 minutes gone after Ollie Palmer won a free kick.
Kelly curled towards the back post and Pollock knocked it down for Weir, but Tom Parkes stole in ahead of the captain and volleyed way off target.
The O’s had a scare midway through the half when Parkes overplayed near his own area and Fortune nipped in and won a free kick.
Southend weren’t able to do anything with the set piece, but threatened again in the 25th minute and Luke O’Neill fired wide from the edge of the area against his old club.
Blues began to get on top towards the end of the half and Ryan Inniss forced Sargeant into a routine save.
Minutes later and a long throw by Ryan Leonard was met by Anthony Wordsworth and his header was deflected wide.
Orient survived the corner but should have trailed five minutes before half time when Southend created another chance.
Simon Cox turned Pollock too easily and Sargeant spilled his shot before Leonard volleyed wide from close range.
A minute of stoppage time was added on at the end of the first half, but it remained goalless at the break.
Cavasin would have been pleased with O’s starts, but the hosts ended the stronger of the two teams.
The Italian made a double substitution at half time with Jens Janse replacing Massey and Dunne taking Parkes position.
Dunne, making his first Orient appearance since November 15, lined up at right-back with Nicky Hunt moving into the centre and Janse was out wide on the right.
Cavasin’s team made a bright start to the second half with Nnomo headed over in the 50th minute.
Two minutes later and the O’s produced another slick move as Kelly passed out wide to Janse in space.
And the Dutch full-back cut the ball back for Bowery, who tested Mark Oxley from just outside the area.
It was the best move of the match from Orient and then the funniest moment occurred in the 59th minute.
Fourth official Christopher Pollard tried to bring on Will Atkinson for the hosts, but got the player coming off wrong twice.
After initially signalling Fortune and then Leonard, eventually it was Will King who made way much to the amusement of the crowd.
The O’s carried on pressing for the opener and Cavasin should have witnessed his first goal in the 68th minute.
Dunne and Janse linked up nicely on the right and the latter whipped in a wonderful cross to the back post.
But Nnomo could only head wide and into the side when it looked easier to score and it remained goalless.
With the game petering out and appearing to be heading for penalties, Southend found the opener almost from nothing.
Cox passed forward for strike partner Fortune and he turned Hunt smartly before beating Sargeant with eight minutes left.
It was harsh on Orient who had looked the more threatening side in the second half and Cavasin responded.
Simpson was waiting to come on but Weir needed to receive treatment and was replaced until the 87th minute.
When the O’s forward did enter the field of play he received a few boos from the home fans after failing to agree a move to Roots Hall during the summer.
Four minutes of additional time were signalled at the end of the 90 minutes, but the visitors were unable to muster a reply.
The defeat leaves Orient second in the group with three points ahead of facing Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s next month.
Cavasin’s first priority is Saturday’s league fixture with Portsmouth – his first match at Brisbane Road.
Southend United: Oxley; White, Inniss, Thompson; O’Neill (Bridge 82), Leonard, King (Atkinson 59), Wordsworth (McLaughlin 59), Coker; Cox, Fortune.
Unused substitutes: Smith, Mooney, Sokolik, Kyprianou.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Hunt, Pollock, Parkes (Dunne 46), Kennedy; Massey (Janse 46), Kelly, Weir (Simpson 87), Nnomo; Bowery, Palmer.
Unused substitutes: Cisak, Koroma, Alzate, Benedicic.
Attendance: 2383 (413 Leyton Orient supporters).
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