Simpson brace helps Orient edge five-goal thriller with Minstermen

PUBLISHED: 17:04 21 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:04 21 November 2015

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 3 York City 2

Leyton Orient earned a much-needed win in League Two after edging a five-goal thriller at Brisbane Road against York City.

The Minstermen didn’t offer much in the first half as Mathieu Baudry put the O’s ahead before Jay Simpson doubled their lead.

But the visitors pulled one back before the break only for Simpson to score again midway through the second period.

Another late strike by York added to the nerves inside E10, but Ian Hendon’s side held on and ended a difficult week with a win that keeps them seventh in the table.

Hendon gave a debut to French defender Jean-Yves M’voto after signing earlier today and partnered Baudry at the heart of the O’s defence.

Alex Cisak was back in goal after missing last weekend’s match at Hartlepool due to international duty and Sammy Moore was starting again too.

Alan Dunne and Lloyd James were on the substitutes bench alongside Jobi McAnuff, returning for the first time this season.

He was in the match day squad for the first time since playing a friendly against Bishop’s Stortford in pre-season after previously being left out in the cold.

Cole Kpekawa was alongside McAnuff too after joining the east Londoners earlier this week on-loan from Queen’s Park Rangers.

Orient made a fantastic start and easily could have been a couple of goals ahead inside the opening 10 minutes.

First, after just 19 seconds, Jack Payne let fly from 25-yards-out and his effort smashed against the crossbar and away to safety.

Then Moore smashed over from close range under pressure from a Minstermen defence with three minutes played.

In the sixth minute a fantastic pass by Moore got John Marquis in down the right, his centre was only cleared to Simpson around 10-yards-out.

But he dallied on the ball when he should have hit it first time and the chance was gone.

Two minutes later and Marquis was involved again and he cut back for Simpson, this time Orient’s top goalscorer got his shot off, but Eddie Nolan cleared off the line and it remained goalless.

A pattern had developed by the 15th minute of the visitors sitting deep and allowing the O’s plenty of possession, and just seeing if they could break the opposition down.

In the 21st minute, Brisbane Road erupted as Hendon’s men did finally take the lead and it was thoroughly deserved.

Moore took the hosts first corner of the game and Marquis and Ollie Palmer ran towards the front post to create space.

That allowed Baudry some space and although the ball was slightly behind him, he managed to guide his header into the top corner.

It was a wonderful moment for the club captain and he pointed to the black armband he was wearing in memory of those that passed away in Paris on November 13.

Unfortunately he was forced off four minutes later with Kpekawa replacing him and in the process making his debut for the club.

The game slowed down after that substitution with the wind picking up and the visitors not offering much going forward.

Three minutes of stoppage time were added on and in the second, Orient doubled their lead with a brilliant piece of play.

Marquis picked up a loose ball just outside the area and ghosted past one York player before jinking past two more and getting to the byline.

He fired the ball across the face of Scott Flinders and at the back post was Jay Simpson, on-hand to tap home his 12th of the campaign.

It seemed like game, set and match after Marquis had turned into Lionel Messi for a moment, but the Minstermen responded immediately.

They hadn’t offered any threat up until the third minute of stoppage time, but the O’s failed to deal with a cross into the box and Vadaine Oliver’s strike took a deflection and beat Cisak to reduce the arrears.

Half time shortly followed and it was the visitors that were suddenly more buoyant instead of Hendon’s side.

York created the first meaningful opportunity of the second period with 55 minutes played as Michael Coulson cut the ball back for Bryn Morris.

The midfielder, however, could only curl over the crossbar when he should have at least tested Cisak.

Bradley Pritchard had a header saved by Flinders three minutes later after Moore’s corner had been cleared, but the atmosphere had become tense.

Fortunately in the 64th minute that changed and Brisbane Road erupted thanks to Simpson.

Sean Clohessy’s ball into the box was controlled by Palmer, but his volleyed effort was blocked and rolled away from goal.

Simpson latched onto it and ran inside, creating a yard of space in the process, and lashing the ball into the bottom corner.

It was a wonderful strike and gave Orient the two-goal cushion that so desperately wanted following a difficult week.

The O’s were indebted to Cisak with 17 minutes remaining as he made a wonder save from Oliver.

York’s forward was in space in the six-yard box and his diving header seemed destined to find the net, but the Australian tipped the ball wide.

Big cheers occurred when McAnuff was introduced in the 82nd minute for Pritchard and Blair Turgott replaced Marquis, who left the field to a standing ovation.

It was the first time McAnuff had played this campaign and his desire was clear to see straight away.

Unfortunately four minutes later and the Minstermen had another lifeline as Orient failed to clear their lines and a ball back into the box was headed in by Oliver.

Nerves were filling inside the stadium now and the announcement that four minutes of stoppage time were being added on only contributed towards that.

Oliver had another chance in the second minute of stoppage time, but his effort was straight at Cisak.

The full time whistle followed shortly afterwards to give Orient a first win in the league since October 24 and a timely boost ahead of facing the league leaders Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, M’voto, Baudry (Kpekawa 25), Shaw, Payne, Pritchard (McAnuff 82), Moore, Marquis (Turgott 82), Simpson, Palmer.

Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Dunne, James, Kashket.

York City: Flinders, Ilesanmi, Berrett, Nolan, Coulson (Straker 81), Oliver, Morris, Swan, Godfrey (Tutonda 56), Greening (Sinclair 56), Boyle.

Unused substitutes: Ingham, Hyde, Collins, Turner.

Attendance: 4,897 (581 York City supporters).

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