Leyton Orient enhanced their League 1 survival hopes with a comprehensive win over Yeovil but still remain in the relegation zone. Chris Dagnall and on loan Swansea winger Ryan Hedges netted in the first 7 minutes to put Orient on their way. The O’s who had only won 3 home games prior to the game were pushing for more but Scott Loach kept his side in the game. Orient did wrap the game up just before the hour as Jobi McAnuff slotted home to give Orient the victory. Despite the win, Orient still remain 2 points from safety as Coventry picked up a vital win away at Chesterfield. Yeovil now lie 7 points safety as they prop up League 1.
Orient who were looking to bounce back from 2 straight defeats made 4 changes: Andrea Dossena, Marvin Bartley, Ryan Hedges and Darius Henderson all came in for Gary Sawyer, Bradley Pritchard, David Mooney and the injured Romain Vincelot. Yeovil, who needed a win to give their hope of survival a chance, made 2 changes Joe Edwards and Stephen Kingsley returned for Kieffer Moore and Stephen Arthurworrey who dropped out.
The O’s started on the front foot, pressurizing Yeovil’s back line and took the lead after just 2 minutes. Jobi McAnuff peristance in midfield paid off as his ball fell to Chris Dagnall, the forward shifted the ball on to his right foot, firing into the far corner for his 10th league goal. The third home game in a row Orient had scored before the 5th minute. Yeovil were shell shocked all over the pitch as Orient pressed again looking for an important second. The front 6 were pushing forward to force Yeovil onto the back foot as they struggled to keep possession.
The O’s grabbed the vital second on 7 minutes, Marvin Bartley who had impressed since his return from injury made a break in the inside left channel. He turned back to play Dossena in, the left back’s cross shot was blocked out to Ryan Hedges on the edge of the area. The on loan Swansea winger slotted home for his 2nd for the club and Orient’s second on the day.
Orient thrived on the frailties at the back from Yeovil, becoming even more dominant with both O’Neil and Dossena supporting well down the flanks. Hedges and McAnuff were causing their full backs no end of problems with Scott Loach in the Yeovil goal keeping his side in the game. Lovely play between McAnuff and Dossena caused panic in the Glovers’s back line, Dagnall worked the ball to Henderson but the former Forest’s man low shot was brilliantly tipped onto the post. The best move came on 22 where the away side were thankful to the post once more. It came through the lively Hedges, a procession of one two’s down the right led to McAnuff getting in behind, his shot was parried by Loach to Dagnall but Orient’s top scorer could only hit the post with the rebound.
Yeovil boss Terry Skiverton was left on the touchline wondering what had happened in the first 30 minutes as he replaced Adam Morgan for James Hayter. Skipper Joe Edwards had described pre match as “the perfect game for us” it seemed like he was speaking from the wrong team. Orient had been on the front foot since the off but would be disappointed to take more of their chances. Both O’s wingers had license to move in off the flanks to link up play as Hedges did for his goal and could have added to his tally but shot over after good work from McAnuff and Dossena.
McAnuff tried his luck just before the break but Loach saved well down to his left; Alex Ciask remained a spectator in the O’s goal as Yeovil struggled to create much going forward before the break.
It was obvious from the start of the second period that Skiverton had read his side the riot act as Yeovil started on the front foot. But Orient seemed contend to defend behind the ball and look to counter when the opportunity arose. Henderson broke for the O’s played in Dagnall who overlapped the ball to Hedges on the right but neither of the O’s forward’s made it into box to tap in the cross. Skiverton shuffled his pack again adding James Berrett for Josh Sheenhan as Yeovil force Alex Ciask into a couple of saves.
Joel Grant had the Glovers best chance as he found space in the inside left channel, Edwards found him but his shot was saved well down at his near post by Ciask. Orient responded 2 minutes later as they wrapped the game up. Dagnall and Henderson linked up from a throw in as Henderson rode three challenges, laid the ball over to McAnuff who was left unmarked on the left side and he slotted home. Henderson was replaced by David Mooney and his first contribution was to play in Dagnall who had a fierce near post shot turned round for a corner by Loach.
Bradley Pricthard and Jay Simpson were introduced for Marvin Bartley and Ryan Hedges who continues to grow in confidence in his loan spell from Swansea. Orient who had made all 3 subs had to finish the game with 10 men as Mathieu Baudry limped off with a hamstring injury. In fact all 3 changes could have been enforced as they received ice treatment on the bench: Bartley (Knee), Henderson (ankle) and Hedges (thigh). The O’s had to reshuffle with Luke O’Neil moving to centre half and Bradley Pricthard slotting in at right back. Both did well in the remaining stages as Orient capped a fine win with a clean sheet in their target of beating the drop.
Orient face an inform Barnsley on Tuesday who have who 6 straight games in the league but will need a result as they still sit 2 points from safety. With Coventry’s win at Chesterfield, the league match between the Sky Blues and Orient on the 1st April could be the most important fixture of the season. Yeovil still have a possibility of survival as they face Colchester on Tuesday night but no less than a win could signal their ominous relegation to League 2. Orient were rarely troubled at the back as Yeovil failed to create clear cut chances but the confidence built from the win should help them in the game n Tuesday.