A Matty Done double helped 10 man Rochdale come from behind to defeat managerless Leyton Orient. Ashley Eastham saw red for the away side after Done opening the scoring and Jobi McAnuff leveled but Chris Dagnall missing the resulting penalty. Romain Vincelot put Orient ahead before Peter Vicenti and Done completed the comeback seeing Orient lose their second game in a row at home against 10 men.
Following the resignation of Russell Slade on Wednesday, Kevin Nugent was put in temporary charge and dropped Nathan Clarke and David Mooney with Scott Cuthbert being named captain. Shane Lowry partnered Mathieu Baudry at the heart of the defense with Chris Dagnall and Darius Henderson leading the line. Rochdale made 1 change from their 1-0 win over Coventry last week with Rhys Bennett coming in for Joe Rafferty. Ex Orient captain Stephen Dawson made his return to Brisbane Road for the first time in two years and played in the engine room for Dale.
Rochdale started well and took the lead after 4 minutes, Matty Done was found in the right channel, travelling towards goal he moved the ball onto his favoured left foot and fired past Gary Woods. Orient had not learnt their lesson from conceding early in midweek and already had the pressure on them at home. Dale could have doubled their lead 4 minutes later, Ian Henderson created some space behind Baudry but his shot narrowly went past the far post. Orient were passing the ball around better than in recent weeks and equalised on 13 minutes, Dean Cox’s cross was flicked to Jobi McAnuff on the edge of the box and he fired home into the top corner.
Dagnall and Henderson were beginning to create a partnership up front but a major blow to potentially Orient’s season was, Lloyd James being stretched off after 26 minutes. He challenged for a 50/50 ball in the middle of the park and came off worse, immediately signalling to the bench that there was a problem. Without James, Orient struggle to create an impetus without the former Southampton man and if he is out for a sustained period of time, Orient may need a loan to fill the void.
3 minutes after James’s departure, Cox played a lofted through ball to Henderson who was caught by Ashley Eastham as he faced down on goal. The referee quickly produced the red card and pointed to the spot which looked a favorable decision for the home side. After netting at Notts County from the spot, Dagnall stepped up but Conrad Logan easily saved the spot kick. Rochdale must have taken noted from Colchester’s performance two weeks ago with 10 men and resorted to a 4-3-1-1 formation with the pacey Done leading the line. Orient were beginning to find more space and knock the ball around against the 10 men, after pressure from Dagnall, Logan handled a back pass but Henderson took the kick too fast and the chance went begging. Cox went close with two long range attempts and Henderson nodded wide after a Cuthbert cross. Orient took the lead 3 minutes before the break, a raking diagonal from Lowry was knocked down to Vincelot and the French midfielder teed himself up and headed over Logan to give Orient the half time lead.
Rochdale came out with a little more fight after the break and equalized three minutes after the restart. Scott Tanser was allowed to progress towards the Orient box unleashing a shot from 25 yards but Woods only parried the ball to the onrushing Peter Vicenti who knocked home the rebound. After the goal, Rochdale sat 10 men behind the ball with Matty Done becoming the outlet for the away side. Breaking down a team is what Orient have struggled to do and especially against 10 men as seen in their last home match against Colchester. Orient were trying the create chances with Pritchard, Henderson and Cox all going close with efforts. Then on 66 minutes, the sucker punch came from Dale, a long ball over the top from Stephen Dawson found Matty Done. Done ran in to the left side of the box and fired in the far corner beyond Woods for his 7th of the season. Orient once again beaten on the break by a quick front man, with 25 minutes remaining Dale just sat behind the ball and absorbed the pressure.
Nugent made two changes bringing on David Mooney and Sean Batt for Jobi McAnuff and Darius Henderson which seemed a odd decision chasing a game. Henderson was winning knock downs and with Orient getting more and more desperate, the ball was not sticking up top. Dale got their reward for sticking by their game plan but it doesn’t take a team much to win at Brisbane Road, absorb the pressure, have quick men on the counter attack and you are sorted.
Kevin Nugent after the match stated “it was two goals in the second half that we really didn’t expect to happen but they did – two poor goals and poor defending really”. The question is how many times in a season are we going to lose goals from individual errors, it is quite clear that Orient still haven’t found the correct center half pairing but Lowry was probably the stand out man today. Orient have no ideas when trying to break down a team at home, they started off well passing the ball around but second half apart from two saves from Pritchard and Lowry not much else happened for the home side.
Rochdale move to 5th in the table on 16 points with Keith Hill ecstatic with their start to life in League 1. Orient on the other hand are without a manager, a win at home this season and struggling after the success of last season. 19th and on 10 points with 9 of them points being acquired away from home it is clear where the problem lies at the start of the season.