No Easter prize for Orient as Accrington bag the points
PUBLISHED: 17:01 25 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:23 26 March 2016
Sky Bet League Two: Accrington Stanley 1 Leyton Orient 0
Leyton Orient’s long trip up to Accrington Stanley on Good Friday unfortunately brought them no reward in League Two.
The O’s were hoping to continue their impressive away form, but after a goalless first half conceded in the 51st minute.
Even though they pushed to find an equaliser, they never really tested the home custodian and fell to a one-goal defeat.
It virtually ends any hopes they had of achieving automatic promotion with Bristol Rovers, in third place, now nine points ahead of the Brisbane Road outfit.
The O’s were without both Jobi McAnuff and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin due to international duty.
Sammy Moore therefore came into the starting side while Frazer Shaw was back among the substitutes and some Orient supporters were late getting to the game at the Crown Ground due to traffic around the area.
A minutes silence was observed impeccably to pay respect to those that lost their lives in Belgium this week.
Stanley got proceedings underway and neither team was able to get on top during the opening five minutes, but Kevin Nolan’s men did create the first opportunity of the encounter after some lovely football.
Nicky Hunt, against the club he captained last season, found Jay Simpson in the middle of the pitch. The ball was eventually worked out to Jerome Binnom-Williams and he found Sammy Moore, but his effort went over.
It helped the east Londoners settle and they began to control possession with Armand Gnanduillet firing wide with 10 played.
A lack of communication between Alex Cisak and Peter Ramage gave the hosts the first corner of the match. It was played short by Sean McConville, but he got the ball back and crossed in for Shay McCartan.
He could only fire wide at the back post, though, but it gave Stanley some momentum in the 17th minute. Two minutes later and after another corner, McConville tried to beat Cisak at his near post.
Orient’s goalkeeper was equal to the effort before Binnom-Williams suffered a dead leg. Fortunately it wasn’t too bad and the Crystal Palace youngster was able to carry on as both sides looked to get on top.
Binnom-Williams made a vital late challenge on Piero Mingoia in the 27th minute to prevent the Stanley number seven firing home from close range.
A mistake by the O’s player-manager moments later, when he tried to dribble past an opponent just outside his own penalty area, appeared to give the home team a great chance to open the scoring.
But fortunately for Nolan the offside flag was up and he apologised to the dugout following the error of judgement.
Shaun Brisley received a booking 12 minutes before the interval for a professional foul as neither side was able to dominate at Crown Ground.
Just one minute of stoppage time was added on at the end of the first half and it went by without anything of note to ensure it was goalless at the break.
It hadn’t been the most thrilling of first 45’s as Orient and Accrington both defended well and remained compact throughout. The O’s got the second period underway, but found themselves behind in the 51st minute.
McCartan held the ball up well and played it back McConville, and he crossed into the area. Billy Kee brilliantly chested down for Scott Brown and the Stanley midfielder rifled past Cisak to put his side ahead.
It should have been 2-0 less than 60 seconds later when McCartan played McConville through on goal. Cisak made himself big, though, and blocked the low shot excellently before the east Londoners looked to respond.
Simpson cut inside an opponent before bursting past another, but his side footed effort went past the post. Sean Clohessy crossed into the box moments later, but Gnanduillet couldn’t reach the delivery and home goalkeeper Ross Etheridge grabbed the ball before Orient’s top goalscorer could pounce.
Nolan’s side had responded well to conceding, but still made a double substitution just past the hour mark. Ollie Palmer and Blair Turgott were introduced in place of Gnanduillet and Moore as the visitors searched for an equaliser.
They were nearly trailing by two in the 64th minute, however, following a mix-up at the back. Brisley failed to connect properly with his first header and tried to knock the ball back to Cisak with his second.
McConville had an anticipated the header, though, and nipped in to take the ball past Cisak. As the Stanley winger tried to work an angle to shoot, Orient’s number one got back well to push the ball out for a corner.
The Australian was furious with Brisley after the incident, but fortunately the resulting corner came to nothing.
While the O’s were having a lot of possession, they were struggling to break Accrington down. There was frustration was evident 12 minutes from time when Ramage received a caution for pulling down Kee.
With no McAnuff or Jahraldo-Martin, the visitors final roll of the dice was to bring Shaw on at left-back and push Binnom-Williams further up the pitch.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on when the 90 were up, but Orient didn’t look like breaking down the hosts. Stanley held on to take the points and knock Nolan’s side out of the play-off positions in the process.
The O’s will welcome Hartlepool United to Brisbane Road on Monday hoping to erase the memories of this bad Friday.
Accrington Stanley: Etheridge, Pearson, Hughes, Davies, Halliday, McConville, Brown, Conneely, Mingoia, McCartan, Kee.
Unused substitutes: Mooney, Procter, Windass, Gornell, Buxton, Boco, Fosu.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Ramage, Brisley, Binnom-Williams, Clohessy (Shaw 85), Atangana, Nolan, Moore (Turgott 61), Simpson, Gnanduillet (Palmer 61).
Unused substitutes: Gregory, James, Payne, Pollock.
Attendance: 2,783 (555 Leyton Orient supporters).