U’s well-beaten at lowly O’s
npower League One Leyton Orient 4 Colchester Utd 2
COLCHESTER United were eventually left well-beaten by lowly Leyton Orient this afternoon as their exertions from two day’s previous seemed to catch up with them in the second half.
The U’s played some excellent football in the opening half an hour and tested the home keeper on numerous occassions.
Orient broke the deadlock four minutes before the break when Jimmy Smith looped a header in and they extended their advantage soon after the restart when Alex Revell latched onto a poor Matt Heath back-header to slot home.
Colchester were gifted a way back into the game in the 69th minute when keeper Jamie Jones fumbled a routine ball to allow Anthony Wordsworth a tap-in.
The hosts, who started the day just two points offf the bottom of the table, restored their two-goal advantage just three minutes later though when unmarked substitute Paul-Jose Mpoku smashed the ball into the top corner.
Colchester again clawed one back nine minutes from time through Ian Henderson, but the O’s wrapped it up in the 86th minute when keeper Ben Williams palmed a Jonathan Tehoue effort into his own net.
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And in the end it looked like Colchester’s efforts from Saturday’s 3-3 home draw against Charlton – the U’s playing over half that match with 10 men – caught up with them.
U’s boss John Ward made just one enforced change to his starting line-up following their impressive performance in the 3-3 home draw with Charlton just two days’ previous. Out came the suspended David Perkins following his red card in that game and he was replaced by Ian Henderson.
With skipper Kemi Izzet still struggling with illness the U’s were down to 19 avaialble players, the only one not to get a place in the squad being striker Liam Henderson who is due to return to parent club Watford tomorrow.
Leyton Orient – who came into this game just two points off the relegation zone – made two changes following their 5-0 thrashing at Brighton at the weekend. Aaron Brown and Paul-Jose Mpoku dropped to the bench, while Andrew Whing and Dean Cox were promoted to the starting XI.
Orient enjoyed the first chance of the match as Ben Chorley headed straight at the keeper from a corner, but Colchester soon took control with some slick and fluid football.
First Andy Bond stung the hands of the keeper with a fierce first-time shot from the edge of the box following excellent build-up, while more intricate play ended with Henderson seeing a shot turned around the post.
U’s full-back Lee Beevers, playing his second game in three days following 16 months without a first team start, was then booked after the referee ruled he had dived in the box.
Orient showed brief glimpses of danger with former U’s striker Scott McGleish hitting the side-netting, but it was the away side generally dictating the play as the lively Henderson pulled a shot across the face of goal following an exchange of passes with Ashley Vincent.
It was Colchester survived a big chance in the 35th minute though when Beevers was there to clear a Jimmy Smith shot off the line after keeper Williams had been unable to collect a ball under pressure from Alex Revell.
It proved to be an omen as Orient took the lead four minutes before the break when Smith looped a header over Williams following a fine cross from the left by the impressive Cox.
The lead was then doubled four minutes after the restart when Heath failed to get enough on his back-header to allow Revell to nip in and slot the ball home.
U’s boss Ward quickly replaced Vincent with striker Kayode Odejayi and switch to a 4-4-2 formation in an attempt to get back into the match.
Having played half of Saturday’s high-tempo match against Charlton with 10 men Colchester’s players began to look tired as the second half wore on.
They were gifted a way back into the game after 69 minutes though when keeper Jamie Jones fumbled a high ball under minimal pressure from Wordsworth, the midfielder left with a simple tap-in for his second goal in as many games.
Orient boss Russell Slade reacted by introducing striker Paul-Jose Mpoku from the bench and within three minutes of being on the field he had restored the home side’s two-goal advantage by smashing a fine angled shot into the top corner.
To make matters worse, Bond soon had to be helped off the pitch in some discomfort with a leg injury.
There looked like no way back for the U’s but they once again hauled themselves to within a goal in the 81st minute when Henderson weaved his way through a crowded box before slotting home.
The stage looked set for striker David Mooney to score an equaliser on his last game of a loan spell from Reading, but the Irishman was denied by a fine saving tackle by Ben Chorley.
Orient then went straight up the end and wrapped it up thanks to an by keeper Williams, the U’s keeper only able to deflect substitute Jonathan Tehoue’s low shot up into the air with it finally dropping down into the net.
– Reaction to follow.
LEYTON ORIENT (4-4-2): Jones; Whing, Daniels, Omozusi, Chorley; Smith, Cox (Mpoku 72), Dawson (cpt), Spring; McGleish, Revell (Tehoue 68).
Unused Subs: Brown, Chambers, Butcher, Cestor, Walker.
Booked: Jones (90).
COLCHESTER UTD (4-3-3): Williams; Beevers, White, Reid (cpt), Heath; I Henderson, Bond (Hackney 78), James; Vincent (Odejayi 54), Wordsworth, Mooney.
Unused Subs: Cousins, Baldwin, Bender, Coker, Gillespie,
Booked: Beevers (11), Henderson (34), Bond (55).
U’s Man-of-the-Match: Ian Henderson
Referee: Mr Danny McDermid