Leyton Orient lose again and take step closer to relegation after defeat at Stevenage
PUBLISHED: 21:59 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 21:59 28 February 2017
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Sky Bet League Two: Stevenage 4 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient conceded twice in each half to lose 4-1 at Stevenage and take a step closer towards relegation from League Two.
Paul McCallum, who was impressive throughout, pulled one back for Danny Webb’s team, but they struggled at Broadhall Way.
With Hartlepool United winning against Crewe Alexandra, the O’s are six points from safety ahead of visiting Newport County this weekend.
Orient will also be without Gavin Massey on Saturday after he picked up his 10th booking of the season to rub salt in O’s wounds.
Webb made three changes to the team which started the 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
Nicky Hunt captained the O’s following his return from suspension and he partnered Michael Clark in the heart of defence.
Clark, having made his first appearance for the club at the weekend, was included from the off and made his full debut.
Sammy Moore was also brought in with Nigel Atangana missing out altogether at Broadhall Way due to a tight groin.
Teddy Mezague dropped to the bench while Tom Parkes was unavailable due to the bad bruising on his hip.
Orient included youngster Dan Happe on the bench for the first time while Freddy Moncur and Victor Adeboyejo were back.
Ex-O’s winger Jobi McAnuff lined up for Stevenage, who had 41-year-old Chris Day in goal after Jamie Jones was sent off at Crewe Alexandra.
The former Orient goalkeeper was involved in a scuffle with his old team-mate Chris Dagnall, which saw the striker sent off too.
Stevenage started strongly and it took the east Londoners a while to enjoy a sustained spell of possession in Hertfordshire.
Ben Kennedy nearly opened the scoring after 12 minutes following some neat play by the hosts, but he curled wide.
It was all Stevenage and McAnuff produced a dangerous cross four minutes later, but nobody was on the end of it.
Less than 60 seconds later and Sam Sargeant was called into action for the first time and denied Matt Godden.
Orient broke from the resulting corner and Michael Collins brought the ball forward, but he was tackled.
Soon after the hosts pressure finally paid dividends as Stevenage took the lead in the 18th minute.
McAnuff brought the ball forward and managed to ride the challenge of Clark before crossing into the area.
Kennedy, unmarked, made no mistake from six-yards out and headed in a deserved opener for the hosts.
Three minutes later and things went from bad to worst for Orient as Hunt was penalised for pulling Luke Wilkinson’s shirt.
Referee Charles Breakspear, who sent off two O’s players against Plymouth Argyle in September, pointed to the spot.
Stevenage were handed a great chance to double their advantage and Godden smashed into the top corner and made it 2-0.
It looked like being a very long night for Orient at this point, but they responded in the 24th minute.
McCallum won the visitors a free kick and Collins stood over the set-piece and curled in a dangerous ball.
And it was McCallum who got on the end of the cross and brilliantly headed past Day and into the corner.
Orient were handed a big boost as a result and began to grow in confidence after reducing the arrears.
But Webb and the O’s were dealt a major blow in the 31st minute when Massey was booked for shoving Connor Ogilvie.
It was a needless foul to make and was the ex-Colchester United wingers 10th caution of the campaign.
Massey will now miss the weekend trip to Newport County and the match with Grimsby Town on Saturday week.
Webb’s team failed to let the blow affect them and went close again three minutes later at Broadhall Way.
Moore picked out Josh Koroma with a neat pass and the teenager drove at the home back four.
Koroma played in Massey, who had a lot of time, but he sliced wide when he should have at least tested Day.
It was an excellent chance for Orient and yet they went close again in the 36th minute as they continued to press.
Massey was involved again and crossed in for Sandro Semedo, who had an effort deflected over the crossbar.
From Collins’ resulting corner, Clark appeared to be pulled to the ground by home defender Wilkinson.
Referee Breakspear waved away the appeals and it was Stevenage who went close next when Jack King headed into the ground and over.
Orient went close next when Myles Judd, Massey and Koroma combined excellently on the right.
It was Koroma who was played in on the right and he tested Day before Stevenage cleared the danger.
Collins went close soon after during three minutes of additional time when McCallum set him up, but the midfielders effort was deflected wide.
The O’s forced two late corners, yet neither of Semedo’s deliveries could find a team-mate and it remained 2-1 at the break.
Stevenage got the second half underway and the big question was whether Orient could see out the first 10 minutes after the restart.
Unfortunately the answer was no as McAnuff’s cross was met by a Wilkinson header and Sargeant couldn’t keep it out.
Orient’s young goalkeeper would have been disappointed after getting a hand to the effort and failing to prevent Stevenage grabbing a third goal in the 48th minute.
Now it looked a tall order for O’s and the Hertfordshire club were looking more likely to increase their advantage.
McAnuff caused Semedo all sorts of problems in the 53rd minute and picked out Fraser Franks, but he smashed against the crossbar from close range.
It was all Stevenage and Webb made a change on the hour mark with Moncur making his first appearance of the season.
Moore was the man to make way, but almost straight after the change and the hosts made it 4-1.
Kennedy’s clearance was poor and Stevenage worked the ball brilliantly and Tom Pett fired into the net.
Sargeant got a strong hand on the close range shot, but the ball trickled over the line with Hunt unable to clear.
Steven Alzate was introduced for his debut straight after the fourth with Semedo being replaced.
Orient then started to show more fight with Judd coming forward with purpose and having a shot deflected wide.
In the 67th minute the O’s went close twice in quick succession with Koroma firstly forcing Day to parry away from goal.
Webb’s team kept the ball well and moved possession around before Massey tried to find the top corner.
The effort by the Orient winger was heading for the net as well until Day got up well to tip over.
From the resulting corner, Koroma bundled Collins cross in, but referee Breakspear awarded a foul on the Stevenage goalkeeper.
Moncur, who made a big impact after his introduction, then did well before passing out to Judd and he won O’s another corner.
The pace of the game, understandably, slowed down afterwards with Orient dictating possession and trying to break down Stevenage.
Webb brought off the impressive McCallum with seven minutes remaining as Adeboyejo was introduced.
Collins tested Day in the first of four minutes of stoppage time, but the game was long over by now.
The full time whistle soon followed to hand O’s a third consecutive defeat and they are now six points from safety.
Hartlepool United’s win compounded Orient’s misery and with Massey unavailable at Newport, things look bleak for Webb and his young squad.
Stevenage: Day; Franks, Wilkinson, King, Ogilvie; Pett (Cowans 76), Lee, Tongue, McAnuff (Hinds 83); Godden (Loft 88), Kennedy.
Unused substitutes: Preson, McQuoid, Gorman, Ntlhe.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Judd, Hunt, Clark, Kennedy; Koroma, Moore (Moncur 60), Collins, Semedo (Alzate 63); McCallum (Adeboyejo 83), Massey.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Mezague, Dalby, Happe.
Attendance: 2,908 (682 Leyton Orient supporters).