Late goal moves Orient back into top seven
PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:00 19 March 2016
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Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Morecambe 0
Leyton Orient had to wait until the 81st minute to finally break down Morecambe and get back to winning ways at Brisbane Road.
Kevin Nolan’s side had played against 10 men for almost all of the match, but couldn’t find a way past substitute goalkeeper Kieron O’Hara.
He was on after Barry Roche was sent off for bringing down Jay Simpson inside the box, but the O’s hitman had his resulting penalty saved.
It wasn’t to matter in the end, though, as an own goal inside the final 10 minutes gave the east Londoners all three points.
The O’s made two changes to the side that started against Oxford United with Armand Gnanduillet coming in for Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, who dropped down to the bench.
New loan signing Peter Ramage, from Coventry City, come straight into the team with captain Mathieu Baudry serving the first of his four-match suspension.
Sean Clohessy was skipper for the day, despite Nolan starting, and he welcomed Lloyd James into the match day squad.
The former Southampton midfielder was back from his achilles injury while Sammy Moore recovered from illness.
Connor Essam, Bradley Pritchard and Jack Payne were among the replacements with the latter missing out due to the loan ruling.
With Ramage, Shaun Brisley and Jerome Binnom-Williams starting plus David Gregory and Jahraldo-Martin on the bench, Orient had to leave one loan player out and the Peterborough United man wasn’t included.
The visitors had an effort on goal with just two minutes played, but Tom Barkhuizen’s long range volley went well wide.
Five minutes later and Armand Gnanduillet and Jobi McAnuff linked up brilliantly on the left.
O’s number 11 crossed into the box towards Jay Simpson and Clohessy, but Morecambe cleared and continued to enjoy a decent start.
In the 12th minute that completely changed as McAnuff played a wonderful ball through to Orient’s top goalscorer
Simpson collected the pass excellently and tried to skip past Seasiders goalkeeper Roche, but he was brought down inside the penalty area.
Referee Ben Toner was left with the easy decision to point to the spot and send the away custodian off.
O’Hara was introduced in place of Jamie Devitt and immediately had an impact as he saved Simpson’s poor penalty, pushing it over the crossbar.
It was the third spot-kick the top goalscorer in League Two had missed at Brisbane Road this year.
Nolan’s men continued to push, though, and a deep cross from Clohessy picked out Binnom-Williams at the back post.
He headed inside for Gnanduillet, but the French forward could only slice high and wide of the target.
Orient’s captain for the afternoon was getting plenty of joy down the right and another dangerous delivery resulted in Simpson having a header saved.
Then the hosts went even closer to opening the lead in the 31st minute when Clohessy’s centre was met by Gnanduillet.
Morecambe substitute O’Hara made a stunning save, however, before Nolan picked up the rebound, but he was offside.
While the east Londoners were enjoying lots of possession, they were struggling to break the away team down.
As the half drew to a close, the Seasiders won themselves a corner, but couldn’t create anything from it.
Binnom-Williams then feed Simpson, who worked a yard of space, but once again couldn’t beat O’Hara.
Just as two minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the half, the visiting goalkeeper was forced into action again.
He comfortably saved Simpson’s scuffed effort and the half time whistle shortly followed.
It had been an incredibly frustrating half for the home side, who hadn’t made their numerical advantage count yet.
At half time both Moore and James were introduced with Clohessy and Nigel Atangana making way.
Hunt had a chance three minutes after the restart when O’Hara, on-loan from Manchester United, parried McAnuff’s cross.
The ball dropped for the former Bolton Wanderers right-back, but he smashed way over from just inside the area.
James curled a free kick wide in the 50th minute before Orient began to increase the pressure on the away goal.
Nolan won the ball in midfield and McAnuff released Binnom-Williams in the box, but his effort was tipped wide.
McAnuff’s corner was then won brilliantly by Ramage, but his header was pushed over by O’Hara.
Another corner fell to Simpson inside the box and his shot was deflected wide for another set piece.
Unfortunately the O’s could do nothing with the third, but Gnanduillet forced a wonderful save from O’Hara in the 55th minute.
From the fourth corner, in the space of two minutes, Brisley’s header this time was pushed over, but the fifth set piece was cleared.
The home side were getting more frustrated as the seconds ticked away and tempers got heated in the 62nd minute.
Nolan challenged for a high ball with O’Hara and caught the Morecambe goalkeeper accidently with the follow through.
It caused various players from both sides to square up to each other, but only the Orient player-manager was booked.
Four minutes later and he was replaced by Palmer as O’s pressed for a winner with 23 minutes remaining.
The substitute nearly made his impact felt 10 minutes later when he met Brisley’s long pass, but his looping header hit the crossbar and went over.
And then just as it seemed it would be one of those days for the hosts, they got a massively slice of luck in the 81st minute.
Binnom-Williams put a wicked delivery into the box and Alan Goodall tried to clear it, but could only smash the ball against Ryan Edwards and it deflected into the net.
Nolan’s men had finally got the opening goal and a huge sigh of relief was let out at Brisbane Road.
Four minutes of stoppage time was added on and although Kevin Ellison had a long range effort, Alex Cisak dealt with it comfortably and Orient held on for the win.
It moves them back into the play-off positions and only six points off Bristol Rovers, who occupy third in the table.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Ramage, Brisley, Binnom-Williams, Clohessy (Moore 46), Nolan (Palmer 67), Atangana (James 46), McAnuff, Simpson, Gnanduillet.
Unused substitutes: Gregory, Turgott, Jahraldo-Martin, Pollock.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Goodall, Conlan (Wildig 85), Kenyon, Fleming, Devitt (O’Hara 14), Barkhuizen, Ellison, Miller (McGowan 73).
Unused substitutes: Molyneux, Mullin, Stockton, McKnight.
Attendance: 4,442 (102 Morecambe supporters).