Leyton Orient finish 2020 in style with a derby victory over Southend

Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff celebrates as his effort is deflected in against Crawley Town - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient capped off the bizarre year of 2020 with a 2-0 victory over rivals Southend United on their first visit to Brisbane Road in the league for 11 years.

Goals from captain Jobi McAnuff and Conor Wilkinson sealed the three points that ended their three game winless run in League Two to put them back within touching distance of the play-off places.

The O’s made two changes from the side that suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Cambridge United on Boxing Day with Lee Angol and Tunji Akinola coming in to replace defensive duo Josh Coulson and Joe Widdowson in the starting line-up. 

Attacker Conor Wilkinson started brightly and had an early chance cleared off the line by Shrimpers left-back Sam Hart after Lee Angol threaded the ball across the goal following a long ball forward from goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux that his opposite could only push out into the box. 

The former Dagenham & Redbridge man Wilkinson then curled a shot over the crossbar in the 11th minute of play after captain Jobi McAnuff laid the ball off to him down the right. 


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Southend were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box shortly after but left-back Hart stuck his shot off the wall and it was cleared away to safety. 

Lee Angol then rushed into the box with some tricky footwork, the Orient man beat his markers and unleashed a shot but it was straight at the Southend goalkeeper. 

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In the 31st minute a reverse ball from Orient midfielder Craig Clay split the Southend defence and found Wilkinson, whose shot was saved by Mark Oxley as he continued to cause Hart problems. 

On the stroke of half-time former O’s man Jason Demetriou floated a ball into the box for Simeon Akinola who headed wide of the target. 

The Shrimpers got a chance as soon as the second-half kicked off as Akinola saw his effort bounce wide for a corner which amounted to nothing as Orient cleared the danger. 

The O’s won a free-kick on the edge of the box as Wilkinson was brought down after cutting across by Tim Dieng. 

Skipper McAnuff stepped up and pinged the free-kick over the wall into the back of the net for his third goal of the season to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute. 

Wilkinson then fired a free-kick over the bar after McAnuff was brought down following a good run and the attacker then cut in after a good passage of play from the O’s but once again sent his shot spiralling high. 

Leyton Orient's Conor Wilkinson during the Sky Bet League Two match at the JobServe Community Stadiu

Leyton Orient's Conor Wilkinson during the Sky Bet League Two match at the JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester. - Credit: PA

After many chances Wilkinson did eventually get his reward as he found the back of the net as he was played through on goal by McAnuff where he lifted the ball over the on-rushing Mark Oxley into the net to give Orient a 2-0 lead in the 78th minute. 

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Happe, Brophy, Cisse, Clay (Dayton 90), McAnuff (Kyprianou 83), Wilkinson, Johnson (Sotiriou 90), Angol.  

Unused subs: Sargeant, Widdowson, Coulson, Maguire-Drew. 

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, White (Taylor 69), Hobson, Hart, Egbri, Demetriou, Olayinka (Halford 78), Dieng, Nathaniel-George (Walsh 69), Akinola. 

Unused subs: Seaden, Howard, Phillips, Acquah. 

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