Dagenham & Redbridge loanee Elliott Romain helps Torquay United complete National League double over Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 21:51 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 21:53 13 March 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Leyton Orient 0 Torquay United 1
Torquay United completed a National League double over Leyton Orient with a deserved 1-0 win at Brisbane Road this evening.
The visitors grabbed all three points thanks to on-loan Dagenham & Redbridge forward Elliott Romain, who netted in the first half.
It was bad, bad night for Justin Edinburgh’s team and this result means they are still in a worrying position with nine fixtures left to play this season.
Torquay were late arriving in E10, due to London rush-hour traffic, and so the teams weren’t announced until 7pm.
When they were, Edinburgh had made two changes to the side which played out a 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.
David Mooney and Lamar Reynolds earned promotions from the bench with Dan Holman and Josh Koroma dropping down to be among the replacements.
This was the first meeting between the two clubs since December 2006 when they did battle in the FA Cup and the first encounter at Brisbane Road between the sides since September 2005 when they were both in League Two.
Fast forward to now and both teams were in the bottom half of the National League with the visitors staring relegation in the face.
Before kick-off, four members of the Essex Cricket Club were on the pitch with the County Championship Division One title.
They were joined by several Wanstead CC players, who won the National Club Championship in August.
After having two trophies on the pitch, Torquay got proceedings underway in front of a subdued crowd.
Mooney looked up for it though and was involved in all of O’s bright moments during the opening 10 minutes.
It was his cross which was met by Bonne with nine on the clock, but Vincent Dorel saved well, though the offside flag was up anyway.
Torquay, despite their lowly position, were keen to knock the ball about and enjoyed some flurries into Orient’s half during the opener quarter of an hour and forward Brett Williams fired over from range when allowed too much space.
Three minutes later and the visitors won a free kick in a dangerous position when Ebou Adams chopped down Liam Davis.
Although the set-piece effort from Luke Young hit the wall, Davis tried his luck and his shot deflected into Romain’s path, but Sam Ling got back to clear.
It had been a sloppy start from O’s and Gary Owens’ team were growing in confidence at Brisbane Road.
Romain hit the post with 25 minutes on the clock when the lively Williams beat two opponents and teed up Young.
Young’s effort was knocked towards goal by Romain, but it hit the woodwork and the offside flag was up anyway.
Play was stopped in the 31st minute when Gulls goalkeeper Dorel landed forcefully on his own defender Josh Gowling.
Straight away there was concern for the Torquay centre back, but thankfully he was able to get to his feet and walk off.
He did need to be replaced though and was by Tommy O’Sullivan with 36 played and the substitute had an immediate impact.
Good play from Williams saw him tee up O’Sullivan in space and the substitutes’ cross was headed home by Romain to put the visitors ahead in the 37th minute.
It was fully deserved for Torquay and although Orient tried to rally, the quality of their passes and control was well below-par.
The heavy pitch wasn’t helping, but it didn’t excuse some of the decision making by Edinburgh’s team.
Five minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the 45, but O’s continued to overhit passes and produce a lethargic display, which was rightly booed once the half time whistle was blown.
The first real action after the interval occurred in the 49th minute when Ebou Adams and Romain clashed after a tackle and both received cautions.
O’s then finally sparked into life and won a couple of corners in quick succession with Edinburgh making a double substitution before the second.
Matt Harrold and Joe Widdowson replaced Reynolds and Jake Caprice with the name of the departing full-back receiving a cheer as he left the pitch due to his below-par display.
The resulting corner saw Elokobi have two efforts blocked before Torquay scrambled the ball clear and for the first time, the visitors defence looked shaky.
Orient continued to attack with more purpose, but were lacking the required quality, but Brophy showed it in the 66th minute when he beat two players and played in Widdowson, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
Edinburgh’s final roll of the dice was to bring Koroma on for Clay and switch to a 4-2-4 formation.
The third substitute immediately tried his luck from outside the area, but Dorel saved with ease.
Romain was then fortunate to stay on the pitch when he cynically brought down Brophy, but referee Alan Dale kept his cards in his pocket.
Owens heeded the warning though and withdrew the Dagenham & Redbridge loanee with quarter of an hour left at Brisbane Road.
The O’s were handed another chance with 10 minutes left when Mooney won a free kick around 20-yards-out, but Elokobi curled harmlessly over.
Another opportunity was created in the 88th minute when Mooney crossed in for Bonne, but the forward leap too early and nodded over from eight-yards.
The fourth official then signalled for four minutes of stoppage at Brisbane Road, but Orient looked void of ideas.
Edinburgh’s men did manage to create one final opportunity when a long ball was knocked down by Bonne for Mooney, but despite the club captain creating a yard of space impressively, he could only fire against the post from 10-yards.
Referee Dale blew the full time whistle soon after to hand Torquay a big victory and help them complete a league double over the O’s.
It was an abject performance by the hosts and the only positive for them was a goal all the way at the International Stadium.
Relegation-threated Solihull Moors looked set to win at Gateshead, but an injury-time goal for the Heed saw the game end 2-2.
Orient remain eight points above the relegation zone, but they still have work to do and the winless run at Brisbane Road goes on.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice (Widdowson 58), Coulson, Elokobi, Ling; Reynolds (Harrold 57), Adams, Clay (Koroma 68), Brophy; Mooney, Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Holman.
Torquay United: Dorel; Barnes, Balatoni, Gowling (O’Sullivan 36), McGinty, Davis; Young, Sokolik, Evans; Romain (Reid 75), Williams (Pittman 82).
Unused substitutes: Clarke, Dowling.
Attendance: 2,900 (155 Torquay United supporters).