Leyton Orient’s hat-trick hero Josh Koroma: I had to score at least once after Steven Alzate did!
PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 March 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
18-year-old took home the match ball from Rodney Parade and discusses his treble at Newport County, Danny Webb and more
Josh Koroma admitted seeing Leyton Orient team-mate Steven Alzate open his account for the club on Saturday at Newport County spurred him on to do the same in South Wales.
The two 18-year-olds scored four times between them to inspire Danny Webb’s young O’s to a 4-0 League Two success.
Koroma set up the opener for Alzate before scoring three times himself to take home the match ball and cap a fantastic day for the Brisbane Road club.
He said: “Steven and I have been playing together since we were 15, so it felt really good to be able to set him up.
“But after I thought to myself I can’t have him playing one game and scoring and me not scoring at all after playing about five or six times.
“It gave me confidence and then he won the penalty for my third and I took it, so he returned the favour.”
The pair are becoming accustomed to doing things at the same time with the duo both signing professional contracts on September 21.
Now they have both found the net in the Football League and there is no doubt it had been coming for Koroma.
Orient’s talented teen went close at Plymouth Argyle before missing a great chance against Cheltenham Town.
Even on Tuesday night Koroma was thwarted on a couple of occasions by Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day.
But he finally got the luck he deserved on Saturday and in the process helped the O’s claim a crucial three points.
“I’ve been playing well, but I haven’t been scoring, so I was disappointed I wasn’t taking my chances, but I made up for it at Newport,” said Koroma.
Koroma opened his account by finishing off a wonderful team move with fellow academy stars Myles Judd, Alzate and Sam Dalby involved.
Dalby played a wonderful through ball for his team-mate to make it 2-0 and the duo linked up for Orient’s third.
The O’s 17-year-old striker showed superb composure to control Sandro Semedo’s pass and glide past two opponents.
Just as it seemed Dalby was going to get on the scoresheet, he unselfishly squared to Koroma, who had a simple tap-in.
It ensured Orient held a three-goal advantage at half time and in the 63rd minute they were handed a chance to extend their lead.
Alzate demonstrated quick feet and was bundled to the floor by Newport’s Mitchell Rose and Gavin Ward pointed to the spot.
Freddy Moncur initially grabbed the ball before Callum Kennedy got his hands on it, but Koroma was given the responsibility.
And the 18-year-old found the net, despite home custodian Joe Day getting a hand to his effort, to complete his hat-trick.
Koroma added: “I always thought I was going to score, although when I see the goalkeeper dive the right way I was nervous.
“But it went in, so I was relieved. Callum said I was on my hat-trick, so I could take it and he threw me the ball.”
Kennedy showed a lot of faith in Koroma and it was rewarded as Orient enjoyed one of their better days this season.
The hope now is that the 4-0 victory at fellow strugglers Newport can be a decisive moment in the O’s campaign.
Webb’s appointment has coincided with Orient finding their belief and fight again, which was evident on Saturday.
Although the 33-year-old lacks managerial experience, he has brought together the O’s squad and really deserves to have more than just two wins to his name.
“Danny fills me with confidence and fills everyone with confidence, so that is why the team has been playing well,” said Koroma.
“I know we haven’t been getting the results, but hopefully the Newport County win is the turning point for the team.”
Orient have a lot of work to do if they are to avoid relegation this season, but they have given themselves a fighting chance and are not giving up.