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10-man O’s see excellent unbeaten run come to frustrating end

PUBLISHED: 22:45 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 22:45 02 April 2019

Dan Happe in action for Leyton Orient this season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Dan Happe in action for Leyton Orient this season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

National League: Bromley 2 Leyton Orient 1

Leyton Orient suffered their first defeat in the National League for almost two months after going down 2-1 away to Bromley this evening.

The final result only told half of the story with O’s in control after Josh Coulson’s latest goal at the end of the first half.

A red card to Marvin Ekpiteta in the 47th minute changed the course of the game though, as the Ravens equalised from the resulting penalty before they grabbed a second with 63 on the clock.

It was enough to give the hosts all three points, but Orient boss Justin Edinburgh will know nothing changes and the title is still in the club’s hands.

The O’s were without captain Jobi McAnuff due to a groin injury while Josh Koroma was only fit enough to take up a spot on the bench following a tight hamstring for the second consecutive London derby after Saturday’s stalemate at Barnet.

Orient started well and created a number of early chances, but it looked like the first 45 would end goalless as two minutes of stoppage time was added on.

Edinburgh’s team had other ideas, though, and virtually with the last kick of the half took the lead as Coulson fired home at the second attempt to continue his fine form.

It was the perfect end to the half, but the visitors unfortunately endured a disastrous start to the second period.

George Porter was played through on goal and Ekpiteta fouled the former Orient man inside the area with a unnecessary challenge.

Referee Will Finnie now had a decision to make with 47 on the clock and he produced a red for the O’s centre back which left the leaders facing a big uphill task.

Frankie Sutherland stepped up for the Ravens to take the spot-kick and made no mistake from 12-yards to level the scores in the 49th minute.

Orient now had to weather the Bromley storm, but they didn’t as the home side went ahead with 63 played.

Ex-Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Frankie Raymond was afforded too much time on the ball and produced a peach of a cross for Reeco Hackett-Fairchild to head home.

More woe was to come for the east Londoners when assistant Ross Embleton saw red in the 72nd minute and was then given a send-off by one-time Orient youngster Porter.

O’s, to their credit, managed to come through this testing spell to regroup and as the seconds ticked away at Hayes Lane, it was they who looked more likely to score.

Despite having a numerical disadvantage, Orient were bombing forward at every opportunity and did create chances, but unfortunately couldn’t take them and fell to a 2-1 loss.

It was a frustrating result for the National League leaders, but they remain top and still have a game in hand on all of their rivals ahead of Saturday’s home encounter with mid-table Halifax Town.

Leyton Orient: Brill; Coulson, Ekpiteta, Happe; Lawless (Alabi 67), Clay, Lee, Widdowson; Brophy; Simpson (Koroma 67), Bonne.

Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Gorman, Dayton.

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