Pools sink Leyton Orient on Gray day
PUBLISHED: 14:12 15 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:12 15 November 2015
Sky Bet League Two: Hartlepool 3 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient failed their trial by television as they were sunk by Hartlepool in front of the live Sky Sports cameras at Victoria Park.
The visitors showed no early sign of stage fright as Bradley Pritchard put them ahead on 13 minutes, but Pools hit back from the penalty spot soon after and Jake Gray’s second-half double settled the matter.
Defeat leaves O’s with only five points from their last six matches, clinging on to a play-off spot, ahead of the visit of lowly York next weekend.
O’s had been rocked by the news that influential midfielder Dean Cox would miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, but Pritchard returned to the starting line-up following suspension, while Sammy Moore did not travel following the birth of his daughter in the week.
And head coach Ian Hendon could only name five substitutes on a very youthful looking bench at Victoria Park.
But O’s applied pressure from the kick-off, with Sean Clohessy firing an early effort over the crossbar.
And captain Mathieu Baudry, wearing a black armband in tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in Paris, saw his effort from a corner deflected behind on six minutes.
The visitors opened the scoring just before the quarter-hour mark when Lloyd James chipped the ball into the box and it fell for Pritchard, who slotted into the bottom corner.
Orient’s joy was shortlived as Hartlepool were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes, when Alan Dunne was adjudged to have handled as he went up for a header from a left-wing cross, and Kudus Oyenuga stepped up to send young keeper Charlie Grainger the wrong way from the spot to level.
Oyenuga tried a speculative effort from 30 yards just before the half-hour mark, but it was too high to trouble Grainger, deputising for Australian international Alex Cisak.
And Orient rallied, with John Marquis forcing Matthew Bates to poke the ball clear under pressure from Ollie Palmer, before his well-struck shot was punched away by Trevor Carson.
Jack Payne then saw his 30-yard attempt deflect off Palmer before Carson gathered on 37 minutes, as the visitors looked to regain their advantage.
But they had a let-off moments later as Pools broke out and Scott Fenwick just failed to get his head onto a dangerous cross.
Orient made a bright start to the second half and a fine move ended with Clohessy’s ball into the box, but Palmer and Jay Simpson could not convert.
Then Payne played an inviting ball through on 52 minutes, but Simpson just could not connect and Pools had a chance of their own when the ball fell to Mikael Mandron just inside the box, but Clohessy deflected his shot behind.
James received the first booking of the match on 56 minutes for a bad tackle on Jake Carroll, but the Welsh midfielder then created a chance just past the hour that saw Baudry’s header superbly saved by Carson.
Hartlepool took the lead on 70 minutes, though, when Jake Gray’s effort from 20 yards took a deflection to beat Grainger.
Mandron headed wide of the left post from six yards out two minutes later as the hosts looked to make sure of the points.
And Hendon sent young striker Scott Kashket on for goalscorer Pritchard with a quarter of an hour remaining in a bid to salvage something from the match.
Clohessy played another ball into the box nine minutes from time, which Simpson nodded back across goal, but Carson gathered at the feet of Palmer as he looked to profit.
And Palmer fired wide of the target with another half chance a minute later, before Hartlepool grabbed their third goal of the afternoon when the ball was played through by Kal Naismouth to Gray and he drilled a low shot past Grainger.
Hartlepool: Carson, Duckworth (Harrison 78), Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Naismith, Magnay, Gray, Oyenuga (Oates 68), Fenwick (Featherstone 83), Mandron.
Unused subs: Bingham, Bartlett, Woods, Jones.
Leyton Orient; Grainger, Clohessy, Baudry, Dunne (Turgott 86), Shaw, Payne, Pritchard (Kashket 75), James, Marquis, Palmer, Simpson.
Unused subs: Sargent, Moncur, Semedo.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Attendance: 3,785 (including 237 Orient fans).
*Leyton Orient entertain Luton Town in the FA Youth Cup at Brisbane Road on Monday night.
Kick off is at 7pm and admission is £5 adults and £3 concessions.