O's move up to third after grinding down dogged Dover
PUBLISHED: 16:59 27 August 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Leyton Orient 3 Dover Athletic 0
Leyton Orient moved up to third in the National League table with a superb 3-0 win at home to Dover Athletic this afternoon.
The O’s didn’t make the breakthrough until the second half, but Jobi McAnuff’s cross forced an own goal and they wrapped up proceedings in E10 with two late goals.
Josh Koroma capped a fine National League display with another goal before Matt Harrold continued his injury comeback with a header in stoppage time.
For the third straight game, Justin Edinburgh stuck with the same starting XI, but had to make a change to the bench.
James Alabi started his three-game suspension, so Alex Lawless returned to the bench after sitting out the 1-1 draw at Gateshead on Saturday.
Dover made the brighter start in E10 with Kedell Daniel having a shot blocked after only three minutes by Macauley Bonne following a corner.
The visitors won a second set-piece five minutes later, but Tim Schmoll could only head harmlessly over – moments after a Charlie Lee header had been easily saved by away stopper Mitch Walker.
O’s threatened properly for the first time with 14 on the clock when Koroma turned well and saw a curling effort sail off target.
It boosted Orient’s confidence and James Dayton rolled a shot wide four minutes later from an encouraging position.
Edinburgh’s team had grown into the contest now and produced a fine move in the 24th minute which ended when Dayton’s cross was screwed wide by captain McAnuff.
Less than 60 seconds later and Walker was almost caught out when Charlie Lee played a cross-field ball to Myles Judd and his header needed a touch from the Whites goalkeeper to prevent it setting up Craig Clay for a tap-in.
Ill-discipline then took over with Koroma booked for kicking the ball away and Dover also giving away a string of fouls as the game went past the half an hour mark.
An excellent opening was created nine minutes before half time, though, when Lee passed into Koroma and the youngster set up the midfielder, but Walker saved his fierce drive impressively.
It was still goalless, but Orient were dominating the battle in the centre of the pitch now with Lee and Clay both having strong matches.
The duo were involved again with 39 on the clock when Lee slide in to end a Dover move and Clay found Dayton, but his shot was easy for Walker.
Chris Kinnear’s team reminded the hosts of their potency seconds later when Anthony Jeffery did well on the right and cut back for ex-Dagenham & Redbridge left-back Jack Connors, but his cross was too high for a his team-mates and went out for a goal kick.
On the stroke of half time, the best chance of the game so far was created, but somehow it remained goalless.
Dean Brill’s free kick was headed on by Marvin Ekpiteta and Koroma volleyed towards goal, but Walker produced a superb save to tip over the crossbar.
It was a stunning stop and although two minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the 45, it went by without anything to note and remained 0-0 at the break.
Dover, like in the first half, started strongly once the game got back underway and forced a corner when Jeffery’s cut back was put behind by Josh Coulson.
Orient soon got on the front foot themselves and Koroma saw a cross take a deflection and clip the crossbar in the 49th minute.
From the resulting corner, Dayton and McAnuff combined before the latter worked half a yard of space and crossed into the area where his dangerous centre took a touch off Dover attacker Daniel and beat Walker from close range.
It was a deserved opener for the O’s, who failed to make the most of their opportunities in the first half.
Edinburgh’s team were not content with one goal, however, and pressed for a second in the 53rd minute.
Koroma turned away from his marker yet again and played in Judd down the right and his cross found Bonne, but he saw a shot deflected wide.
O’s went close again soon after when McAnuff’s pass was headed down by Bonne and Lee fired towards goal, yet could only drill wide.
It was all Orient now and a further opportunity was produced in the 57th minute when Dayton played a lovely ball into Clay and he crossed into the area.
Dover could only head the clearance up in the air and Koroma volleyed across goal where Coulson got the faintest of touches, but saw the shot roll wide.
Orient were almost forced to make a change on the hour mark when Clay went down and Dale Gorman got ready to be introduced, but the former Motherwell ace managed to shake off his injury and return to the pitch.
After a spell of constant pressure, O’s were on the back foot in the 65th minute when a Mitch Brundle corner found Kevin Lokko, formerly of Dagenham, but he headed wide from a good position.
Kinnear’s Whites were again getting a foothold back in the contest and Edinburgh made a change with the excellent Clay finally coming off for Gorman.
Dover introduced Inih Effiong to add more firepower to their attack, but it was Orient who now looked more likely to grab the next goal.
Another free-flowing move occurred in the 76th minute and McAnuff looked for full-back Widdowson, but his overlapping run was covered by Daniel and he cleared for a corner.
O’s continued to create chances and Koroma turned away from his marker again in the 80th minute, but fired over from inside the area.
Although Edinburgh would have been pleased with the number of opportunities Orient had created, he would have like a second goal by this point.
Fortunately for the head coach O’s did double their advantage in the 82nd minute and it was the man of the moment Koroma who grabbed it.
After keeping possession patiently, Dayton slipped the ball into the teenager and he kept his composure to slot past Walker and make it 2-0.
Koroma then ran over to Sam Sargeant and produced a dance with the fellow academy graduate to celebrate the goal.
Orient introduced Harrold straight after extending their lead with Dayton making way after another solid display.
The home faithful were in fine voice now too with a full repertoire of songs coming from the South Stand in particular.
Harrold almost gave them something else to shout about in the 89th minute when Gorman played him in, but his low strike was saved by Walker.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the 90 and O’s had to make a change when Koroma limped off to be replaced by Lawless.
It wasn’t the final thing to note from the contest though, as Harrold capped a brilliant day for Orient with a third with just seconds remaining.
Judd produced an excellent cross and the substitute buried the header with aplomb to cap a wonderful Bank Holiday for the O’s.
Next up for Orient is a real test away to recently relegated Chesterfield, but they go into the game unbeaten in seven this season and full of confience.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Judd, Coulson, Ekpiteta, Widdowson; McAnuff ©, Clay (Gorman 70), Lee, Dayton (Harrold 83); Koroma (Lawless 90), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Happe.
Dover Athletic: Walker; Lokko, Essam, Schmoll; Passley, Brundle, Tajbakhsh (Nortey 61), Connors; Daniel, Allen, Jeffery (Effiong 73).
Unused substitutes: Diarra, Fazakkerley, Okosieme
Attendance: 4,641 (226 Dover Athletic supporters).