Leyton Orient crash out of the EFL Trophy with Bristol Rovers defeat on fans return

Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Jordan Maguire-Drew in action for Leyton Orient - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient crashed out of the Papa John’s EFL Trophy knock-out stages with a 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers after going down to 10-men early in the second-half. 

Head coach Ross Embleton made a number of changes to the starting line-up to give minutes to players returning from injury with the likes of Lee Angol, Ruel Sotiriou, and Craig Clay all featuring while goalkeeper Sam Sargeant, midfielder Jordan Maguire-Drew and James Dayton were also handed a chance to shine. 

In the 12th minute however League One side Bristol Rovers opened the scoring as winger Ali Koiki opened the scoring when he tapped the ball home from close range. 

Orient almost levelled the score 10 minutes later as striker Lee Angol headed a Maguire-Drew cross narrowly wide. 

The hosts continued to press hard as defender Dan Happe pinged a diagonal pass across the pitch that found the former Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Maguire-Drew who cut inside and fired a shot but it was blocked. 

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In the 27th minute the O’s finally got their rewards as Maguire-Drew passed the ball into the feet on youngster Sotirou. 

The Cypriot attacker flicked the ball in behind from right-back Sam Ling looked to pick out a cross but it takes a deflection off Rovers defender Jack Baldwin and finds the back of the net. 

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It only lasted two minutes as Bristol soon restored their lead as former Orient loanee Zaine Westbrooke's free-kick hits the bar, then bounced off Sam Sargeant's back and into the net. 

Craig Clay struck a looping half-volley from 18 yards which hit the side netting just before the half-time break. 

The O's started the second-half on the front foot as James Dayton looked to find Angol in the area, but his cross was just too high. 

Substitute goalkeeper Jordi van Stappershoef, who replaced Anssi Jaakkola at half-time, was forced to make a save on Sotiriou as he cut inside and stabbed a shot goal bound. 

Orient’s chance of getting back into the Trophy clash were made harder as experienced defender Jamie Turley was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Zain Walker in the 55th minute. 

Sotiriou had a chance denied by Van Stappershoef in the 76th minute as the O’s continued to push despite going down to 10-men. 

Substitute and club’s top goalscorer Danny Johnson went down with appeals from the hosts of a penalty but it was waved away. 

In stoppage time Maguire-Drew whipped in a brilliant which was also denied as Bristol held on to seal their progress into the next round. 

Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Ling, Turley, Happe, Widdowson (Brophy 46), Kyprianou, Clay, Dayton (Wright 67), Maguire-Drew, Sotiriou, Angol (Johnson 61). 

Unused subs: Vigouroux, Thomas, Coulson, Dennis. 

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