Notts County 3 Leyton Orient 1: O's beaten by 10-men Magpies
PUBLISHED: 16:57 24 September 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
League Two: Notts County 3 (Forte 53, Stead 55, Collins 90+3) Leyton Orient 1 (McCallum 87)
Leyton Orient suffered their first defeat on the road this season as they crashed to a loss at Notts County.
Having looked the brighter early on, O’s faded as the first half wore on, appearing keener to counter than control.
After the break, the Magpies struck twice in quick succession to hit the front, and though there was a late consolation for the east Londoners, the hosts wrapped up the win in stoppage time despite being a man light.
The east Londoners made just one change from their 1-0 loss at home to Yeovil Town last week, with Jay Simpson coming in for just his second start of the season.
Simpson returned to the starting XI the expense of Jordan Bowery, who dropped to the bench, where he was joined by new signing Jens Janse.
Nicky Hunt was also passed fit to start at Meadow Lane, having come off at half time against the Glovers with an injury.
Orient were at their most threatening in the opening five minutes, with Simpson sticking an acrobatic effort from just inside the area narrowly wide of the target.
County, though, were slowly growing into the game, with striker Jon Stead cross going all the way through the box without a touch before Hunt cleared his lines.
Stead was proving a thorn in O’s side, and twice went close to an opener in the 20th minute.
First, Hunt blocked an effort from the attacker who picked up a cross that evaded strike partner Jonathan Forte, before Stead shot again, forcing a good save from Alex Cisak.
The east Londoners looked somewhat on the back foot in the minutes that followed, with Magpies skipper Michael O’Connor shooting wide with a fierce 20-yard drive.
Despite the pressure, Orient left-back Callum Kennedy remained keen to provide himself as an attacking outlet, and so nearly delivered a cross to open the scoring in the 35th minute.
The ex-Wimbledon man burst down the flank before crossing from the byline, but Paul McCallum took the ball off the feet of Simpson when he perhaps should have left it for his fellow forward.
On the stroke of half-time, the former Arsenal trainee fired off another shot, but his effort from the edge of the area was tame and easily claimed by County keeper Adam Collin as the sides went in goalless.
It did not stay level for long, though, as O’s fell behind to two quick-fire goals inside 10 minutes of the restart.
After a cross into the box in the 53rd minute, Cisak did brilliantly to deny Stead with a header from close range, but Forte nodded in the rebound.
Less than two minutes later, Stead got his name on the scoresheet when rifling past The O’s keeper from the edge of the area to leave the visitors stunned.
Despite their predicament, the east Londoners were given hope after Louis Laing was shown a second yellow card in the 69th minute after pulling Simpson back.
With 17 minutes to go in the match, a quicker counter-attack saw the ball roll to Liam Kelly around 25 yards out.
The midfielder chanced his luck with a first-time shot, forcing Collin to push the ball behind for a corner that came to nothing.
Two minutes later, substitute Jordan Bowery also went close for the visitors, but his header after a cross into the box was straight at the Magpies stopper.
Despite Orient’s late rally, it was nearly game over in the 80th minute when Aaron Collins fired just over for County from the edge of the area after a storming run from midfield.
At the other end, replacement Sandro Semedo showed good feet to fashion room in the area, but unleashed a weak shot that was straight at Collin, while Robbie Weir narrowly headed over.
Finally, with three minutes to go, Orient finally found a way past Collin when McCallum headed in.
The striker nodded home from close range after Bowery hooked the ball across the area to set up a tense finale.
Further efforts followed by Kennedy and substitute Ulrich Nnomo as O’s pressed on in search of an equaliser.
But as they pressed on in search of a second in stoppage time, County wrapped up the win after a superb solo goal from Collins.
It means Orient’s splendid unbeaten run on the road has come to an end, and they’ll want to end a two-game losing streak at home to Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.
County (4-4-2): Collin; Laing, Duffy, Hollis, Tootle; Rodman, O’Connor Richards 85), Milsom, Dickinson; Forte (Oliver 73), Stead (Collins 58)
Subs: Loach, Campbell, Burke, Aborah
Orient (4-4-2): Cisak; Hunt, Erichot, Parkes, Kennedy; Massey (Semedo 72), Weir, Kelly, Cornick (Nnomo 62); McCallum, Simpson (Bowery 72)
Subs: Sargeant, Palmer, Atangana, Janse
Attendance: 4,289 (including 476 O’s fans)
Referee: Brendan Malone