Leyton Orient dropped further into relegation danger as Scunthorpe became the 8th team to leave Brisbane Road with all three points. Liam O’Neil put the Iron ahead as his curling shot beat O’s keeper, Gary Woods, before Gary McShefferey’s cross was flapped into his own net by Woods. Tom Hopper put Scunthorpe 3 nil in front as he converted Paddy Madden’s cross, Darius Henderson pulled back with a penalty after Jordan Clarke had hauled down the front man but Hopper grabbed his second 10 minutes from the end to pull the Iron 5 points clear of the drop.
Orient who hadn’t won in 2015 made four changes with Neil Eardley, Shane Lowry, Ryan Hedges and David Mooney dropping to the bench with Elliot Omosuzi, Mathieu Baudry, Bradley Pritchard and Gianvito Plasmati coming into the starting 11. Scunthorpe made only one change from their 1-1 draw with MK Dons in midweek with Gary McSheffrey coming in for Josh Murphy.
Orient who needed a fast start with confidence low after recent games could have taken a 3rd minute lead when Plasmati and Dagnall linked up nicely to set the Scot up but his shot squirmed under Luke Daniels and onto the post. The Iron appeared to set their stall out early with a 4-1-4-1 formation looking to outnumbered the O’s in the middle of the park and it worked. Vincelot and Lundstram could not cope with the extra man in midfield losing the battle convincingly. It was the home side that the better opening 10 minutes with Nathan Clarke having a header easily saved whilst Dagnall fired a shot straight at Daniels. But just as every Orient fan knew it was inevitable that Scunny would take the lead and they did after 13 minutes. A corner wasn’t cleared from the Orient right with the ball falling to left back Marcus Williams who’s volley deflected off Bradley Pricthard to Liam O’Neil who curled over Woods and in.
The ninth time Orient had conceded first at home with Orient losing 8 of these games, in fact Orient have fell behind 15 times this season and managed only 5 points from 45. It was a long back for Orient, Cox had a shot fizz past the post but Orient lacked battle, grit and determination. Scunthorpe were by far the better side winning ever battle on the pitch. They duly doubled their lead when McSheffrey played a 1-2 with Bishop, the ex Birmingham winger crossed into the center where Gary Woods flapped at the ball, palming into his own net. Scunthorpe were brimming with confidence and could see the Orient heads drop after the second goal.
Luke Daniels nearly had a moment of madness when Dagnall was played through the recent signing from West Brom came out of his box and got just about got enough on the ball to prevent Dagnall getting a shot away. The loose ball fell to Bradley Pricthard but the ex Charlton man took too long over the shot seeing it deflected for a corner. The O’s struggled all areas with miss passes aplenty and mistakes from every player.
Plasmati was replaced by Darius Henderson at half time with the Italian doing nothing to try and improve the relationship with certain groups of fans. But a carbon copy of the last three home matches and last weeks defeat to Colchester, Orient conceded in the first minutes of the second half. The home side lost the ball in midfield with Isiah Osbourne picking out Madden in the right channel after Sawyer had been caught up field. Madden made his way into the box, crossing to the back post where an unmarked Tom Hopper slid in to add to the Iron’s advantage. Scunthorpe could have added a fourth when Hopper flicked O’Neil’s corner into Woods’s arms with the O’s still looking shaky at set pieces.
Orient were beginning to hit the ball to Henderson with frontman looking to lay off to Dagnall, Cox and Pritchard. Henderson had a volley comfortably saved from outside the area but Scunthorpe looked confident in maintaining the lead and looked dangerous on the break through Hopper, McSheffrey and Madden. Orient were giving a very slim lifeline when Jordan Clarke hauled down Henderson in the box with the Orient forward picking himself up to smash home the penalty.
Ryan Hedges was introduced in place of Bradley Pricthard with main question baffling some fans to why didn’t the on loan Swansea winger start the game after appearing to not do much wrong at Colchester last week. Hedges remains one of only a couple of players in the squad who have the ability to take on a man when in possession. After the goal Orient pushed for a second with not much success, Lundstram departed for Mooney with O’s reverting to a 4-1-3-2 formation. But all Scunthorpe needed to do was press Orient once more to wrap the game up and they did through Hopper. O’Neil played Hopper in who wasn’t picked up by either center half and slotted home past the out rushing Woods.
The fourth goal saw a mass exodus of Orient fans with rest looking on wondering what has happened in the months since 26th May. Far from the team, spirit which last season was built on, the unity of the team appears no where to be seen with a team full of individuals rather than a just a team. Cox had a volley saved by Daniels after Henderson’s knock on but Scunthorpe won’t have many easier away trips all year.
Post match Liverani slammed his players with stating that a lot of things are going to change with ‘no midweek days off, double training sessions’ but the one important point is: is there enough time to get out of this mess? On the performance yesterday Orient looked doomed, no battle, togetherness or unity. The worst home record out of the top four English divisions picking up just 9 points from 52, problems remain all over the pitch. Orient don’t have a strong enough midfield at the moment so it still baffles me why not change to a 3 at some point. At Colchester and yesterday Orient lost the middle of midfield for large parts of the game but until players want to play for the badge and the fans; Orient will remain in this mess.