Leyton Orient dumped out of the FA Trophy after another thriller with Gateshead
PUBLISHED: 22:00 06 March 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
FA Trophy quarter-final replay: Gateshead 3 Leyton Orient 2
Leyton Orient’s run in the FA Trophy came to a disappointing end as Gateshead edged another thrilling contest between the teams to win 3-2 and book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Justin Edinburgh’s team were three goals to the good in the original tie last month, but conceded three times in the final 22 minutes at Brisbane Road to see a replay forced.
Orient made life difficult for themselves again versus the Heed as the hosts went 2-0 up inside 16 minutes, but goals from James Brophy and David Mooney got the away side back on level terms.
Richard Peniket grabbed what proved to be the winner 10 minutes from time though, and in a strange twist of fate the Gateshead goalscorers this evening were the exact same as the previous encounter – Danny Johnson grabbing two and Peniket netting the third.
The O’s were forced to make three changes from the side which lost 1-0 at Dover Athletic on Saturday in the National League.
Dan Holman and Sam Ling dropped out of the squad because they were ineligible to play while Craig Clay was hit with illness.
Alex Lawless was also unavailable due to illness, but on the flip side Brophy and Dan Happe returned after illness and food poisoning respectively to start.
Mooney also earned a recall and lined up in the centre of midfield alongside Ebou Adams with Edinburgh short of options and only naming four substitutes.
Two of the replacements were youngsters Ruel Sotiriou and Charles Clayden with the illnesses to Clay and Lawless leaving Orient short of options.
Gateshead got proceedings underway and to compound things for the O’s, the hosts took the lead after only two minutes.
A Jordan Preston cross wasn’t dealt with and Johnson was on hand to fire past Dean Brill and make it three goals against Orient this season.
It was a bad start for the visitors and things got even worst with quarter of an hour played when Happe fouled the same man in the penalty area.
A spot-kick was awarded and Johnson stepped up and slotted home to put Steve Watson’s team in complete control.
Orient fashioned a decent chance in the 27th minute, their first genuine opportunity of the game, when Lamar Reynolds’ low cross found Brophy, but his effort from close range missed the target.
The Heed nearly put the game to bed 10 minutes later though, when Brill made a fine save to deny Patrict McLaughlin at the back post following a Jamal Fyfield centre before Josh Coulson cleared Peniket’s goalbound effort.
With half-time approaching, both sides pushed for a goal and Brophy tested James Montgomery and Johnson then fired just wide of the post with 43 on the clock.
Mooney went extremely close on the stroke of the interval, but the club captain saw his close range header saved by the Gateshead custodian and it remained 2-0 at the break.
Having led by three goals in the first meeting on February 24, Orient were now facing the prospect of exiting the competition in the last-eight.
The way they started the second half showed they were not prepared to do it without a fight though, as Josh Koroma saw a free kick deflected wide and then they reduced the deficit at the International Stadium.
Reynolds’ cross was only partially cleared and former Swindon Town winger Brophy latched onto the loose ball and fired home to make it 2-1.
With 37 minutes to go, it was all to play for now and Brophy went close again in the 64th minute before Gateshead’s Johnson curled over less than 60 seconds later.
The momentum appeared to be with Orient and they made it count in the 70th minute as Mooney headed in Brophy’s free kick to score his fifth goal of the campaign.
Both sides pushed for a winner now and it was Gateshead who retook the lead with 10 to go in the North East thanks to Peniket.
Scott Barrow found substitute Jordan Burrow and although Brill denied him, Peniket turned the ball into the net to make it 3-2.
Edinburgh reacted by bringing on Matt Harrold for Reynolds and O’s were now piling the pressure on with time running out.
Koroma almost produced a superb equaliser, but Fyfield cleared his long range shot off the line and Happe fired the follow up wide.
Sotiriou was then given an opportunity during the final exchanges, coming on for Happe, as five minutes of stoppage time was added on.
Mooney tried his luck in the first minute added on, but he could only shoot off target after a Macauley Bonne chest down and that proved to be the last chance of the night.
The full time whistle was blown soon after and Orient exited the FA Trophy and would have been left kicking themselves having blown a three-goal lead in the first meeting and then switched off after getting back into the tie this evening.
In the end, it was not to be for the O’s this season in the most prestigious cup competition in non-league football and they will look to return to winning ways on Saturday when they host Ebbsfleet United.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice, Coulson, Happe (Sotiriou 90) Widdowson; Reynolds (Harrold 82), Adams, Mooney, Brophy; Koroma, Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Clayden.
Attendance: 684 (125 Leyton Orient supporters).