Notts County steal the points off Leyton Orient with late winner at Brisbane Road
PUBLISHED: 17:04 18 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:04 18 February 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 2 Notts County 3
Leyton Orient conceded in the 84th minute to suffer a painful 3-2 defeat to League Two relegation rivals Notts County at Brisbane Road.
Danny Webb’s team trailed by two goals early in the second half, but goals from Paul McCallum and Teddy Mezague got them back level.
But Kevin Nolan’s Magpies responded once again to hand O’s another defeat on their own turf.
Webb made three changes to the team which started and played the full 90 minutes on Tuesday night at Plymouth Argyle.
Liam Kelly served the first game of his six-match suspension while Nicky Hunt sat this one out after picking up his 10th booking of the campaign at Home Park.
Nigel Atangana returned following a groin injury while Mezague partnered Tom Parkes in the centre of O’s defence.
McCallum was fit enough to start from the off after struggling with a knee issue having impressed at Yeovil Town last weekend.
The Orient striker was handed the armband too and linked up with the in-form Gavin Massey up front.
Sam Dalby dropped to the bench and was joined by Sammy Moore, who was available again after recovering from a virus.
Notts County, managed by former O’s player-manager Nolan, got proceedings underway at Brisbane Road.
Orient supporters were noisy from the off and there was a great atmosphere building for the match.
But after only four minutes there was a lengthy delay when Parkes collided with ex-Newcastle United forward Shola Ameobi and went down.
It looked a serious injury for the defender and he left the pitch six minutes later on a stretcher and needing oxygen.
Dalby replaced Parkes and moved up front with Massey going to the left of midfield and Sandro Semedo dropping to left-back.
Callum Kennedy went into the centre of defence to partner Mezague, but it was far from ideal for O’s.
After a brief moment of panic with County threatening straight after the restart, Orient soon regrouped.
Two crunching Michael Collins tackles got O’s into the swing of things and the crowd buoyant again.
Webb’s team produced a stunning counter-attack in the 17th minute and went so close to opening the scoring.
Sam Sargeant claimed a cross and immediately passed to Massey, who brilliantly flicked the ball past two County players.
Orient’s in-form attacker sprinted into the area and was denied by goalkeeper Adam Collin from a tight angle.
Massey latched onto the rebound, however, and crossed in for McCallum and Dalby, but the pair were denied by two defenders on the line.
The Magpies were presented with a chance of their own in the 24th minute when they were awarded a free kick.
Mark Yeates stepped up, yet could only hit his effort into the wall and the follow up cross was claimed by Sargeant again.
It had been tight on the pitch, but O’s supporters were making their voices heard off it with plenty of songs.
Josh Koroma got them off their feet again with half an hour played after a wonderful piece of footwork, but he was denied by a defender.
Less than 60 seconds later and Semedo crossed in for Atangana, though he could only toe poke wide.
Orient then found themselves behind with 10 minutes of the first half remaining after a mistake at the back.
Jon Stead flicked the ball on ahead of Mezague and Jorge Grant ran in behind before flicking past Sargeant.
It was frustrating for O’s, but they responded positively with Semedo firing wide after linking up with Massey.
Orient soon began to build up some momentum and Collins drove into area before his cross was deflected just wide by County defender Richard Duffy.
The corner caused some brief panic in the away area before Semedo’s delivery was turned behind for another set-piece.
Once again County cleared the corner, although it came to Koroma and he dribbled past his opponent and crossed into the area.
Kennedy latched onto the loose ball and tried to find a team-mate, and his centre was turned behind for another corner.
The Magpies finally got rid of the next delivery before six minutes of additional time were added on due to Parkes’ injury.
Orient were handed one final chance of the first 45 when Massey was fouled by Bola near the corner flag.
Semedo swung in the free kick, but his delivery was too powerful and it went out for a goal kick before the half time whistle was blown.
It had been a decent first period for Webb and his team, but they were punished for switching off and trailed as a result.
Dalby and Koroma had really caught the eye and they just needed to get Massey more involved and produce more quality crosses for McCallum.
Referee Brett Huxtable left the pitch to boos at the break after an inconsistent display, which left both teams irate at times.
Orient started brightly and won a corner straight from the restart, which Collin did well to punch clear.
Disaster then struck for the hosts when Sargeant came for a loose ball into the area, but Stead beat him to it.
The County forward only got a toe to the ball and it looped in the air before back spinning into the net.
It was a bizarre moment and a mistake by Orient’s young goalkeeper, which left them two goals behind.
But having come from behind at Yeovil Town and Plymouth Argyle over the last week, O’s weren’t about to give up.
And straight away they responded when Judd brought the ball forward before passing back to Koroma.
The Orient youngster crossed into the area and Atangana produced an outstanding header, which hit the crossbar.
Luckily for O’s captain McCallum was on hand to nod in the rebound for his 11th goal of the season.
It handed Orient and Webb a lifeline and Brisbane Road was rocking again with the fans believing they could get something from the match.
Atangana went close again in the 55th minute as he brought the ball forward before seeing his long range effort blocked.
Judd latched onto the loose ball and crossed in for Atangana, but his second strike was deflected behind for a corner.
The resulting set-piece came to nothing, yet Orient were on the front foot and the away back four were looking shaky.
County nearly made it 3-1 in the 61st minute when Ameobi headed Rob Milson’s corner towards goal, but Kennedy blocked before getting in front of the follow up effort.
The flow of the match then became increasingly stop-start with both teams making a number of fouls.
Nolan’s Magpies created another good opportunity in the 70th minute when Michael O’Connor picked out Stead from a free kick.
But the forward headed well off target and Orient remained just the one goal behind, although time was ticking away.
Three minutes later and County went even closer when Grant crossed in and Kennedy sliced his clearance, but it stopped Stead finishing at the back post.
With the atmosphere starting to settle down, Orient got the fans on their feet again in the 77th minute.
Kennedy knocked a fine ball forward and Massey controlled before cutting inside and forcing Collin to tip wide.
Once again Orient started to believe and in the 81st minute they found an equaliser to take the roof off Brisbane Road.
Collins free kick was only partially cleared and Massey tried his luck from outside the area, but his volley was blocked.
The ball fell for Mezague and he lashed it straight into the top corner to spark wild celebrations in E10.
But Orient only had parity for three minutes as more poor defending allowed County to go back in front.
Bola did well on the left and Atangana couldn’t stop his cross finding Stead, who coolly slotted home.
It was cruel on O’s and after working so hard to get back into the game, once again they found themselves behind.
Five minutes of stoppage time were added on, but Orient couldn’t produce another grandstand finish.
The full time whistle sounded, but the home supporters applauded the O’s off after an impressive second half performance.
Orient stay in the bottom two and three points off safety ahead of Cheltenham Town visiting Brisbane Road next weekend.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Judd, Mezague, Parkes (Dalby 10), Kennedy; Koroma, Collins, Atangana, Semedo; Massey, McCallum.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Moore, Liburd, Moncur, Alzate, Clark.
Notts County: Collin; Clackstone, Hewitt, Duffy, Bola; Grant, O’Connor, Milsom, Yeates (Thompson 79); Stead (Smith 90), Ameobi.
Unused substitutes: Loach, Dickinson, Smith, Hollis, Forte, Campbell.
Attendance: 5,585 (705 Notts County supporters).