O’s cruise through after strong second half against the Rams

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 December 2018

Craig Clay and George Elokobi celebrate a Leyton Orient goal (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Craig Clay and George Elokobi celebrate a Leyton Orient goal (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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FA Trophy first round: Leyton Orient 4 Beaconsfield Town 0

Leyton Orient cruised into the second round of the FA Trophy with a strong second-half display to defeat Beaconsfield Town 4-0 at the Breyer Group Stadium.

George Elokobi opened the scoring in the first half, but it was after the break when Justin Edinburgh’s team showed their prowess.

James Brophy, Craig Clay and substitute Dale Gorman netted to add some gloss to the scoreline and help the National League leaders returning to winning ways.

The O’s made seven changes for the visit of Beaconsfield from the team which lost 1-0 at Boreham Wood last weekend.

Dean Brill, Sam Ling, Clay and Josh Koroma retained their starting positions while Marvin Ekpiteta, Gorman and Macauley Bonne were on the bench.

Missing out completely was captain Jobi McAnuff, Josh Coulson and Joe Widdowson and James Dayton was ruled out with a knee injury, which will keep him sidelined for a lengthy period of time.

Dan Happe and Elokobi earned rare starts at the heart of Orient’s defence and teenager full-back Jayden Sweeney was handed his debut.

Further forward, Alex Lawless and Brophy played in midfield and up front was James Alabi and Matt Harrold.

Edinburgh’s men got proceedings underway in wet and windy conditions in E10 with the ‘real feel’ temperature at -1.

It took referee Willie Finnie just four minutes to pull out a yellow card, although it was justified with Jerome Eccleston hacking down Brophy.

The free kick came to nothing, but with six on the clock the left-winger cut inside and fired towards goal.

Ravan Constable spilled the tame effort and Harrold slide in, but the Beaconsfield ace grabbed the loose ball just in time.

It had been a quiet opening quarter of an hour in east London, but with 17 on the clock the opener arrived.

Koroma, who had been fouled, curled in a dangerous free kick from the right-hand side and Happe saw a header well saved by Constable, but Elokobi was on hand to fire into the roof of the net from five-yards to make it 1-0.

The big smile on the experienced centre back was clear to see and after a slight hairy moment minutes earlier, that was just what the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers man needed on his first O’s appearance at home since August 7.

Surprisingly the goal failed to knock the Rams’ spirit and they actually slowly began to grow into the contest.

A slack piece of play by Koroma in the 32nd minute gave the visitors the ball and they got a shot off when Barjam Pashaj crossed in for Charlie Losasso, but his effort was blocked behind for a corner by Elokobi.

The set-piece came to nothing, but the Southern League Premier Division South side were sticking to their manager Gary Meakin’s words and not making the numbers up.

Orient responded with Brophy cutting inside from the right and testing Constable, but it was easy for the Beaconsfield stopper in the 35th minute.

Soon after the Buckinghamshire-based club won a corner when Sweeney had to head behind, but O’s defended it well and then pushed to finish the half strongly.

A free kick three minutes before the interval provided Orient with an opportunity to attack the away goal, but Koroma’s effort was blocked and when Clay delivered the ball back in Constable punched clear under pressure.

Edinburgh’s National League leaders continued to press in a minute of stoppage time, but it finished 1-0 at the break.

By the time the second period got underway, the rain was lashing down even more and it made conditions difficult for both sets of players.

O’s looked for the all-important second and produced a fine piece of play in the 50th minute in front of 1,177 spectators.

Elokobi played a wonderful crossfield pass out to Ling and his ball forward came for Brophy, and he cut inside and let fly from 18-yards, but saw his shot blocked.

Three minutes later and Orient went even closer when Brophy played the ball out to Koroma. He beat his marker and saw his cross take a deflection off Eccleston and go behind the back of goalkeeper Constable, but it hit the post and rolled to safety.

It felt like a matter of time before the second goal arrived and in the 54th minute it did in E10.

A free kick into the area was punched clear by Constable, but it came for Clay and he sent the ball back out wide to Brophy and he rifled home at the near post to score his third goal of the campaign.

Beaconsfield made a couple of changes soon after with Omar Vassell and Marvin Morgan introduced for the final half an hour in east London.

The longer the game went the more Orient’s dominance increased and they nearly scored a lovely goal in the 68th minute.

Youngster Sweeney picked out Harrold down the left and the big forward spotted the run of Lawless and found him outside the area, but Constable produced a superb save to deny the former Luton Town midfielder.

Ruel Sotiriou was introduced off the bench seconds later and Orient threatened again in the 70th minute.

Brophy’s inswinging free kick was headed towards goal by Elokobi, but Constable got a hand to the effort and tipped it wide.

From the resulting corner, the ball dropped for Elokobi and he almost netted again and yet curled over from 16-yards.

The Rams were looking tired now and O’s wrapped the game up with 14 minutes left at a bitter Brisbane Road.

Sotiriou received the ball in space and passed out wide to Brophy, and he cut the ball back for the late run of Clay and the midfielder slide home coolly.

It was a deserved goal for the man who continuously resembles a Duracell Bunny in the centre of Orient’s midfield.

Clay was replaced with 11 minutes left by Gorman and the substitute grabbed the O’s fourth in the 83rd minute.

Orient took a smart free kick with Koroma setting Gorman and he curled brilliantly into the corner from 25-yards to get off the mark for the east London club.

The O’s were not finished there, well Sotiriou wasn’t, as the youngster first saw an effort go between the legs of Constable before the Rams goalkeeper grabbed the loose ball.

Sotiriou then forced the Beaconsfield goalkeeper to push his cross-cum-shot onto the post with 89 on the clock.

Five minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the 90, but it went by with little to note before referee Finnie brought proceedings to an end.

In the end Orient got the job done and relatively comfortably against a side two levels below them.

Tougher tests lie in wait for O’s and more specifically on Saturday when Chesterfield visit in the National League, but this was just what Edinburgh’s team needed after the disappointing of losing at Meadow Park last weekend.

Leyton Orient: Brill; Ling, Happe, Elokobi ©, Sweeney; Koroma, Clay (Gorman 79), Lawless, Brophy; Harrold, Alabi (Sotiriou 68).

Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Ekpiteta, Bonne.

Beaconsfield Town: Constable; Eccleston (Vassell 55), Yorke, Neville, Balogun; Stead (Morgan 59), Daly ©, Brown, Pashaj (Ajanlekoko 74); Losasso, Matthew.

Unused substitutes: Adoo-Peters, Webb.

Attendance: 1,177

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