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O's set up Southend tie following dramatic Diamonds clash in FA Youth Cup

PUBLISHED: 11:30 18 October 2018

General view of the FA Youth Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Images).

General view of the FA Youth Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Images).

PA Wire/Press Association Images

FA Youth Cup third qualifying round: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Leyton Orient 3

Leyton Orient made it through to the first round of the FA Youth Cup following a dramatic 3-2 thriller with AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Wednesday night.

The O’s under-18s were trailing 2-1 at one point in the second half, but showed great character to hit back and set up a meeting with Southend United in the next stage of the competition.

Orient were boosted by the return of captain Hector Kyprianou, who has impressed in a recent work experience loan spell with Bishop’s Stortford.

With head coach Justin Edinburgh in attendance at Hayden Road, the E10 youngsters were eager to catch the eye in the third qualifying round tie, but fell behind in the 24th minute.

A cross from Kyle Ansell caught everyone by surprise and found the net to give the home side a shock lead.

Diamonds, managed by former Orient academy graduate Darren Purse, were quickly pegged back, however, as the visitors equalised nine minutes before half time.

Lawrence Hammond picked out Bradley McClenaghan in the area and although he was denied, Brendon Shabani was on hand to smash in the rebound with 36 played.

It remained level until the break, but it didn’t take long for the third goal of the night to arrive in Northamptonshire.

O’s goalkeeper Sean Campbell saved superbly from Alex Nwarfor, but the rebound fell to Harry Lamb and he fired into the top corner from 20-yards to put Diamonds back in front in the 50th minute.

Purse’s team were in dreamland at this point and on course for a historic upset, but the young Orient side showed their mettle in front of first-team boss Edinburgh.

Jaedon Phillips, the star of the second qualifying round win over Romford, stole the show yet again with two goals in three minutes.

He levelled with 72 on the clock when Alfie Fleming’s deep cross was headed across goal by Ernold Haxhiu and Phillips was there to nod into the net.

The score then turned around some more and went 3-2 to the O’s in the 74th minute when Charles Clayden crossed in for Phillips to head home his second.

In the lead for the first time in the tie, Orient made sure there was no more drama with a solid defensive display in the final quarter of an hour to progress into the first round proper.

O’s will host local rivals Southend United in the next stage, with the tie to be played by November 3, in what appears a difficult encounter for the young east Londoners.

Leyton Orient: Campbell, Palmer (Sweeney 62), Marfo, Kyprianou, Fleming, Haxhiu, Shabani, McClenaghan, Hammond, Clayden, Phillips (Adeyemi 85’)

Unused substitutes: Sivi, Mulqueen, Papadopulous.

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