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Andy Hessenthaler admits Leyton Orient's first half performance against Newport County wasn't good enough

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 August 2016

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir jumps high to win a header against Newport County (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir jumps high to win a header against Newport County (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Brisbane Road boss made ‘tough call’ to start Paul McCallum and Dean Cox, but visitors impressed and won 1-0 in east London

Leyton Orient defender Yvan Erichot battles with Newport County forward Sean Rigg (pic: Simon O'Connor),Leyton Orient defender Yvan Erichot battles with Newport County forward Sean Rigg (pic: Simon O'Connor),

Andy Hessenthaler conceded Leyton Orient couldn’t have any excuses after Saturday’s defeat to Newport County.

Jamie Turley scored the only goal of the game at Brisbane Road in the 34th minute after poor marking by the O’s from Mark Randall’s corner.

Although the east Londoners dominated possession, they struggled to break down the Exiles defence in the first half.

They had more joy after the break and substitute Harry Cornick went close before Ollie Palmer headed wide from close range to conclude a frustrating day.

It is two defeats out of three now for Orient, Hessenthaler said: “I’ve been happy with pre-season, we’ve done well and the Fulham game was unfortunate in terms of we lost the game.

“But we did show good character and at Cheltenham Town last week we were very good for an hour and then under the cosh.

“I still thought it was a good performance and point because you only have to look at what they did to Charlton in the week.

“Saturday was a really disappointing day and we can’t hide behind anything, we weren’t at it first half and we’ve been punished from a set play and ultimately it has cost us points.”

The big news before the game at the weekend was Hessenthaler handing starts to Dean Cox and Paul McCallum.

Both had shone at home to Fulham on Tuesday night and were pushing to be included from the off.

Unfortunately neither could have the impact they would have liked and were replaced in the second half.

Hessenthaler added: “It was a tough call to start them. Dean’s fitness levels have gone right up and Paul isn’t ready yet, but because he’s scored the two goals it was hard not to get him in the team.

“It was frustrating for Paul, he fed off scraps and was frustrated when he got taken off, but every player is the same. We made the call to play him, but in general the whole team in the first half just wasn’t at it.”

Orient weren’t at their best on Saturday and they will look to deliver a response tomorrow at home to Stevenage.

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