Hendon’s team finish with win at the seaside
PUBLISHED: 14:51 02 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:17 02 August 2015
28/07/2015 Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR, email@example.com
Pre-season friendly: Southend United 0 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient finished their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory against League One side Southend United after a stunning strike by Paul McCallum.
Ian Hendon’s team dominated the first half and looked comfortable throughout the first 45, but it changed after the break.
Southend went close on various occasions and the League Two team had to ride their luck at times.
However, they managed to come through and earn another win to end their summer positivity before hosting Barnet next weekend for the league opener.
Hendon gave the captain’s armband to Sean Clohessy, who was up against his former club, after Alan Dunne had worn it against Bishop’s Stortford yesterday (Saturday).
Alex Cisak was in goal with Mathieu Baudry and Connor Essam at the heart of the Orient defence.
The Brisbane Road outfit played diamond formation again in midfield with Lloyd James deepest of the four, Dean Cox at the point of the diamond with Sammy Moore and Bradley Pritchard on the left and right respectively.
McCallum partnered Jay Simpson up front and it was the O’s who made the stronger start of the two teams.
Cox whizzed an effort over the bar early on before the away side won two corners in quick succession, but Essam was unable to hit the target after seeing both come towards him.
After eight minutes Hendon’s side nearly scored a wonderful goal when Clohessy crossed in for McCallum, he headed down for Simpson, but the Orient man couldn’t connect with the ball – if he had, it would have been an excellent.
The O’s didn’t need to wait too long to score the opener, though, and it was an outstanding strike.
Southend gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and McCallum controlled before lashing past Daniel Bentley on the half volley from 30-yards-out.
It was the former West Ham forwards sixth goal of pre-season and his best yet, but the hosts nearly hit back straight away.
The Blues nearly responded when Ben Coker crossed to the back post and Cian Bolger headed towards goal, but it clipped the post and went wide.
Simpson showed his class midway through the half when he collected a pass from Frazer Shaw, turned his marker and curled towards goal. His effort took a slight deflection, though, and Southend survived.
It remained 1-0 at the break with Hendon’s outfit looking solid and organised once again, and provided a good threat going forward too.
The Blues started the second half well and Cisak was forced into a reaction stop two minutes after the interval when Jack Payne tried to score from close range.
Payne went close again shortly afterwards following a smart turn by Coker, it wasn’t the Payne that had been linked with Orient throughout the summer.
Former Reading man Noel Hunt had been brought on by the hosts at the break and he immediately tested Cisak early on.
Hendon was forced to bring off McCallum in the 51st minute with Scott Kashket coming on in his place after playing 90 minutes and scoring twice at Stortford yesterday.
The Orient forward walked off and appeared to be in some discomfort, a concern for the Brisbane Road club ahead of next weekend’s league opener against Barnet.
Southend had started the second half much better and Hendon reacted to that by switching to a 4-5-1 formation with Cox out on the left and Kashket on the right.
But Phil Brown’s team continued to look stronger and should have equalised just before the hour mark.
Blues captain John White crossed into the back post and Hunt, unmarked, should have scored, but failed to get enough on the header and it went harmlessly wide.
A drinks break occurred afterwards with both teams taking a short breather, but it failed to halt Southend’s momentum.
Hunt tried to tee up David Mooney against his former club, however, Shaw put in a solid challenge and Michael Timlin fired the follow up over the bar.
In the 70th minute the hosts should have got themselves level when Pritchard lost the ball inside his own half and Payne played Mooney in on goal.
But the former Orient man, despite being just eight-yards-out, fired wide of the goal with just Cisak to beat. It was a poor miss and was greeted by cheers from the O’s supporters.
The League One side pushed to get back on level terms and substitute David Worrall forced Cisak to produce another fine save before Shaw cleared the danger.
Hendon was looking bemused at the way his side was playing as they had allowed Southend too much space in the second period.
James ensured O’s lead in the 84th minute when Luke Prosser headed towards the bottom corner, but the Orient midfielder kicked away from goal.
In the end Orient survived and held on for a fine victory, but Hendon wouldn’t have been happy with the way his side played in the second half after such an encouraging first 45.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy ©, Baudry, Essam, Shaw, James, Pritchard, Moore, Cox, McCallum (Kashket 51), Simpson.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Parkinson, Ling, Agyemang, Moncur, Semedo, Turgott, Palmer.