Leyton Orient secure second consecutive 1-0 away victory with solid win at National League strugglers Chester
PUBLISHED: 21:45 20 February 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Chester 0 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient extended their unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions with a narrow victory away to struggling Chester this evening in the National League.
Justin Edinburgh’s team earned a second consecutive 1-0 win on the road, having won by the same scoreline at AFC Fylde on Saturday, with James Brophy scoring the only goal of the game to keep up their impressive form.
The O’s were forced to make a change to their starting XI before kick-off when George Elokobi picked up an injury in the warm up.
Dan Happe replaced him to prevent Orient from playing the same team for the third consecutive match.
Edinburgh’s men started brightly with Josh Koroma having two early efforts at the Deva Stadium.
Chester’s first attack of note didn’t occur until the 28th minute when a long throw into the area wasn’t dealt with and Dominic Vose got a touch to the ball, but Josh Coulson was able to head away his effort.
Dan Holman tested Blues goalkeeper Sam Hornby five minutes later before Koroma’s involvement increased when he delivered two dangerous crosses into the area, but much to his disappointment, no O’s players was able to get a telling touch.
One minute of stoppage time was added on at the end of the first 45, but it finished level at the break.
After a quiet start to the second period, the visitors began to impose themselves on the game again and came close in the 62nd minute when Koroma’s free kick just evaded Coulson.
The teenager fired straight at Hornby less than 60 seconds later as Orient enjoyed a lengthy period of possession.
It eventually paid off with 22 minutes left when Jake Caprice delivered a dangerous cross from the right and Brophy stooped low to head home the opener.
The ex-Swindon Town winger had opened his account for the club in an unusual way with a diving header and Edinburgh’s side now had something to hold onto.
Orient’s head coach immediately made a double change after the goal with Ebou Adams and Holman making way for Alex Lawless and Matt Harrold.
Marcus Bignot’s team eventually regrouped and as the game approached the final 10 minutes they pushed for an equaliser.
The away side were still looking a threat though, and nearly put the game to bed in the 80th minute.
Koroma raced away from his marker and picked out Macauley Bonne, but he could only fire off target.
Edinburgh made his third and final change with eight minutes to go when Sam Ling was introduced for his debut with the excellent Koroma making way.
O’s then went ever closer almost straight away after when Caprice bombed forward and aimed for Bonne at the far post, but the forward was a fraction away from making a clean connection.
Gary Roberts tried his luck for Chester with 87 on the clock, yet he could only fire over and more seconds ticked away for Orient.
There was brief panic in the visitors’ penalty area when a long ball forward nearly dropped for Harry White, but his touch let him down.
Five minutes of stoppage time were then added on to add to the tension increasing at the Deva Stadium.
Chester pumped the ball forward, but the O’s back four, Coulson in particular, held strong to ensure Edinburgh’s team secured a vital three points.
Orient have not lost since January 27 now and have moved up to 15th in the table, eight points clear of the bottom four.
The east Londoners take a break from league action now ahead of hosting Gateshead in the last-eight of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Koroma (Ling 82), Adams (Lawless 70), Clay, Brophy; Holman (Harrold 70), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Reynolds.
Attendance: 1,935 (245 Leyton Orient supporters).