Orient’s first home league opener for 6 years ended in defeat by a confident Chesterfield side. Goals from Romauld Boco and Eoin Doyle put the Spirates on the way with Darius Henderson getting the consolation for the O’s.
Orient one of the promotion favorites after falling at the last hurdle last year started poorly with Chesterfield taking control. With a defensive mix up last week in the Orient defense, confidence was not high and Eoin Doyle, the lone striker for the visitors was causing the back line problems. Chesterfield adopting a 4-4-1-1 formation had Gary Roberts dropping into midfield for the away side creating a man advantage in the middle of midfield. The visitors took a deserved lead on 7 mins after a shot was blocked by Matthieu Baudry, the rebound looped up on the edge of the area with the O’s defense watching. Romauld Boco took the chance beautifully, volleying low and hard in the far post past Adam Legizins. The home side were being outplayed by last season league 2 champions failing to keep possession of the ball.
Gary Roberts was continuing to find space for the visitors, creating chances going close himself with a rasping drive going narrowly wide. On 17 mins, Doyle rolled Omusuzi and was running towards the O’s goal, he went past Clarke with ease but saw his delightful dink come back of post. Doyle was causing Orient’s back line all sorts of problems and was real outlet for the away side. Orient began to grow slightly into the match and should have leveled on two separate occasions through Kevin Lisbie. The first came after Lloyd James played a reverse ball in to Cox on the edge of the box, Cox saw his shot saved by Tommy Lee. The rebound hit Kevin Lisbie with the open goal gaping and went safely into the keeper’s arms. A similar incident happened 14 minutes later after a Nathan Clarke’s cross was fumbled by Lee, after pressure from Baudry, Lee dropped the ball onto Lisbie foot and one yard out he hit the keeper to keep Chesterfield leading.
Orient playing 4-4-2 and were being outdone by Chesterfield’s 4-4-1-1 formation. Orient’s midfield was very narrow throughout with Cox and Pritchard playing inside too much. With the man advantage for the away side, Chesterfield’s full backs were allowed to come forward with the space allowed to them by Orient. Plenty of chances for the visitors but they went into the break with the advantage.
The second half started much like the first, long ball was being played up to Lisbie and Mooney but with the failed control the ball was coming straight back. After 53 mins Chesterfield should have been 2-0 up, Roberts robbed Clarke after the O’s captain was labored on the ball. He approached the O’s area and squared to the unmarked Doyle who saw his shot well saved by Legizins. That was enough for Russell Slade, who introduced Jobi McAnuff and Jay SImpson for their home league debuts followed shortly by Darius Henderson. Henderson’s introduction provided much needed power and strength in the O’s forward line. However, the home side still looked vulnerable at the back and on 79 mins Chesterfield took their chance. Another mistake at the back saw Doyle clean through, he again elegantly lobbed the onrushing Legizins to double Chesterfield’s lead. It was more than deserved for Doyle who played as a brilliant lone striker but was helped by the poor Orient defense.
Orient responded 4 minutes later after a Dean Cox free kick was parried straight into Henderson’s path to give the former Forest striker a debut goal. Chesterfield were full credit for the win with Orient well off the pace in their first league match of the season. Slade’s Orient will need to improve if they want to replicate last season’s form.
Chesterfield boss Lee Richardson was happy with their performance ” we thoroughly deserved the 3 points, from 1-11 we were outstanding but we won’t get carried away knowing how tough this league is but pleased with the performance”. Orient boss was disappointed like “the fans, players and staff, there wasn’t much in the game, we had chances but they got the all important opening goal. The goals were uncharacteristic but we have to improve, only when we made the changes we look threatening.
Orient go to Plymouth in the Carling Cup on tuesday before a away trip to Oldham on Saturday, Chesterfield host Huddersfield on Tuesday before Rochdale at home on Saturday.