Hendon suffers defeat in first O’s match

PUBLISHED: 21:36 10 July 2015 | UPDATED: 21:36 10 July 2015

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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Pre-season friendly: Braintree Town 2 Leyton Orient 1

Ian Hendon’s first game in charge of Leyton Orient ended in defeat after his side conceded late on against National League outfit Braintree Town at the Amlin Stadium.

A good encounter occurred between the two teams and it wasn’t played like your normal pre-season match.

Paul McCallum scored his first goal for the club and gave the O’s the lead after 18 minutes, but a penalty from Kenny Davis ensured it was level at the break.

Both sides had opportunities to find a late winner, but in the end it was the hosts that managed it.

Hendon handed debuts to new signings Sean Clohessy, Blair Turgott and McCallum at the Amlin Stadium as a lot of away supporters packed into the ground.

The O’s kicked-off and despite having a team including four trialists and new signings appeared to gel very quickly.

McCallum nearly got an early goal for himself following a good cross from Turgott and Lloyd James also went close in the 12th minute having an effort cleared off the line.

After 18 minutes Orient’s new forward McCallum had another chance to get on the scoresheet and took it. Turgott cut the ball back for Dean Cox, his shot was blocked but it spun out to McCallum and he slide the ball under Braintree’s goalkeeper Nathan McDonald to give O’s the lead.

Hendon’s team continued to impress and had a brilliant passage of play in the 29th minute which nearly resulted in them doubling their advantage.

The ball was thread into McCallum and he teed up Cox, who forced McDonald into a brilliant save. A trialist picked the ball up and crossed it back into the box and Turgott volleyed across goal, but Braintree were able to clear.

Six minutes later and referee Rob Whitton decided to award the hosts a penalty after trialist gave Michael Cheek a slight shove. It was noticeable, but not enough to award a spot-kick.

Nevertheless the Iron weren’t complaining and Davis sent Gary Woods the wrong way to level the scores.

Neither side was able to add another goal before the break and when play got underway Hendon had made 10 changes to his team.

Two new signings, Ollie Palmer and Sammy Moore, were given their debuts whilst youngsters Harry Lee, Scott Kashket, Sandro Semedo and goalkeeper Charlie Grainger were given opportunities too.

The O’s started well and Jay Simpson looked lively and had an effort deflected over the bar before having another cross blocked.

Grainger was called into action just before the hour mark when the unmarked Jordan Cox headed towards goal, but the young Orient keeper grabbed the ball well.

Sam Ling had been introduced by this stage and partnered captain Nathan Clarke at the heart of the defence.

Bradley Pritchard was playing right-back for the O’s and in the 70th minute instigated a good chance for Simpson, but instead of shooting towards goal he tried to cross and the Iron were able to survive.

Grainger was called upon twice in quick succession as the game edged towards its conclusion, first saving from Sean Marks and then holding Jordon Cox’s shot.

Palmer went close to opening his account for Orient when he plucked the ball out of the air and fired towards goal, but his effort was blocked.

The game started to become stretched now with Braintree going close to finding a late winner and a minute from time it was the non-league team that found a goal as Marks headed past Grainger after Billy Gibson’s chipped cross.

Marks’ effort was virtually the last play of the match as the full time whistle followed, which meant Hendon had lost his first game in charge.

Although not the result anyone would have wanted, the work-out was certainly worthwhile and they looked good for large parts. And after all, it is only pre-season!

First half team: Woods, Clohessy, Baudry, Trialist, Trialist, Turgott, James, Trialist, Cox, McCallum, Trialist.

Second half team: Grainger, Pritchard, Clarke, Trialist (Ling 60), Lee, Kashket, Moore, Trialist, Semedo, Simpson, Palmer.

Attendance: 729.

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