Leyton Orient manager Ian Hendon received his marching orders as his side crumbled at home to Exeter yesterday. The former West Ham coach has been under pressure at Brisbane Road with poor performances from his side. The first half defensive collapse where the Grecians walked through again and again through Orient’s back line was enough for President Francesco Bechetti who met with Hendon post match to reveal his news. Assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler has apparently been asked to take over till the end of the season but with Bechetti as President anything is possible.
Ian Hendon made only 1 change from his side that drew with Stevenage 2-2 two weeks ago. Jean Yves-M’Voto came in at center half with Fraser Shaw dropping to the bench. Sammy Moore was included on the bench after more than a month on the sidelines.
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale made 5 changes to his side that drew 1-1 away at Morecambe. Danny Butterfield, David Noble, Christian Riberio, Lee Holmes and Alex Nicholls were all included in the starting 11. Jamie McAllister, Matt Oakley, Jordan Tilson, Joel Grant and Tom McCready all dropped out.
Orient who had only one win in their last 7 games pre match got off to the best possible start. Ian Hendon spoke to leytonorient.com on Friday “about games are not won in their first 5 minutes” well he can’t have told his side that. Following early pressure, McAnuff’s header found Jay Simpson, he fed the ball back to Pritchard who passed first time to McAnuff who had run into the left side of the penalty area. McAnuff cross found Ollie Palmer who chested home to give his side the lead after barely 40 seconds.
Orient looked right up for the game and were pressing high trying to force mistakes from City. The home side were finding space down the right hand side early on but Blair Turgott screwed his shot wide when full back Sean Clohessy was free outside him. Bobby Olejnik looked rather unsure in the Exeter goal with his kicking wayward.
City have their third round replay at Anfield on Wednesday and could have crumbled after the early goal. But with Orient’s inability to defend, Exeter always had a chance. The home side began to stand off Exeter in possession with the away side camped inside Orient’s half. They did level after the quarter hour, Tom Nichols played the ball back to David Noble on the right hand side. The midfielder cut back on to his left foot and his cross was turned in at the back post by former Orient loanee, Jayden Stockley. Stockley had crept in unmarked behind Sean Clohessy and had the easy job of heading home.
Exeter were the only side in the game after the equaliser, the ease of the leveling goal saw the away side grow with confidence. Danny Butterfield fired over from a corner after penalty appeals on Jayden Stockley were waved away. Orient had 2 weeks off from their last game with defending high on the agenda, it appeared that nothing was done in that period. Tom Nichols was next to go through the non existent defence after Noble’s through ball found Nichols who evaded the offside trap but Alex Ciask saved well.
City were becoming more and more dangerous looking like they would score on every attack. They took the lead after 23 minutes, after yet more woeful defending from the O’s. After Stockley’s ball forward was failed to be cleared, Lee Holmes crossed to Alex Nicholls at the back post. Orient managed to block his shot but Alex Nichols crept behind Sean Clohessy at the back post to head home.
The same old mistakes once more but with still 60 minutes to play Exeter would score more. Alex Nicholls was played in once more from David Noble as Orient tried to play the offside trap but it failed yet again. Nicholls had Stockley and Tom Nichols in support but his shot was saved at his near post by Ciask. It was wave after wave of Exeter attack and you knew there was a third goal coming. City’s 3rd goal in 18 minutes came with more poor defending, words to not to it justice. Watch the goals and you will see why. Butterfield’s cross from the right was volleyed home by an unmarked Stockley for his third goal in 5 days.
The home side were no where near their opponents with the away side dominating in every department. Blair Turgott had a faint appeal turned down before Ollie Palmer’s tame header was easily saved by Olejnik. City really should have had a fourth and it would have been the best of the lot. Christian Ribeiro who had been camped inside the Orient half, cut in from the right hand side but his wonderful left foot shot cannoned off the bar.
Cole Kpekawa fired over from distance before top scorer Jay Simpson could only head a Sean Clohessy cross wide of the mark. “Cut out the silly mistakes was the verdict” from Sean Clohessy on Friday, but he was capable once more. After his poor back pass was picked up by Nichols but his shot was blocked.
Boos rang out as the half time whistle blew alongside calls off “HENDON OUT” from nearly every corner of Brisbane Road. The Orient manager brought on Fraser Shaw in place of Jean Yves-M’Voto and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin for Blair Turgott.
However the early signs were not good when Stockley’s header was pushed around the post by Ciask. Orient were beginning to grab a foot hold in the game but were still struggling to create going forward. Sean Clohessy driven cross from the right was gathered at the second attempt by Oljenik.
The away side were sitting deeper and deeper with Orient camped inside their half for the majority of the second half. Jay Simpson screwed a shot wide before Jobi McAnuff drilled a shot just wide from 20 yards. Substitute Jahraldo Martin looked lively after his arrival and created Orient’s first of 2 penalties. He picked the ball up on the right hand side, his through ball went inside full back Craig Woodman to Clohessy. Woodman pulled back Clohessy, Simpson stepped up from the spot but after sending the keeper the wrong way, Orient top scorer saw his effort cannon off the post.
Orient then had another chance to reduce the deficit with another penalty. Jahraldo Martin jinked past a defender before playing Simpson through in the right hand side of the penalty area, Woodman brought Simpson down for the penalty. Simpson stepped up for the second time but Olejnik saved comfortably to his right to cap a fine day for Exeter in East London.
Where do you start with that game then? Well Ian Hendon has gone, dismissed after the match with Andy Hessenthaler apparently asked to take over to the end of the season. At half time, I think most fans knew that Hendon was going at the end of the match, after a 2 week break for a team to defend that bad is beyond me. No where near Exeter for the whole of the first half and it is no understatement to say it could have been at least 6.
“We must take responsibility” have been the words uttered in recent matches well there has to be some after that performance. 2 wins in the last 11 league games and those were not exact easy were they? 1 clean sheet in the last 21 league matches is utterly terrible and the fact that Orient have conceded 2 or more goals in 4 of their last 5 games. The statistics can keeping coming but the end of the line that the defense has been an issue for a while.
Bechetti has struck again with that now becoming 5 managers at Orient in 479 days or 15 months. Did he get this appointment wrong? I mean what did every Orient fan want after the Italian Job last season? An English manager, we got that but it was obvious from the out set that if the diamond did not work, we would struggle in games. The rumour mill has been in overdrive about how much money players are on? Why we can’t sign anybody? But the main statement is we all know actually where the problems lie with the club, they start at the top and work their way down.
What happens next? I don’t think anyone can predict what Bechetti’s next movements will be. Hendon was right that you cannot justify how many mistakes are made in matches but when you drop Fraser Shaw when he isn’t the problem, you make a rod for your own back. To come out and say Connor Essam is rusty but to continually play him, doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. But what do I know, I only write blogs and bake bread for a living.
Wycombe up next where they could be coming off the back of a result against Villa in their third round replay next week. But hang on there is 6 days till that game so that is a long time in the life of an Orient supporter especially with Bechetti as owner. Maybe we will see if the players just didn’t want to play for Hendon or are they just that bad defensively. The most frustrated thing and what I stated to @orientoutlookpodcast, if you were going to sack him why give him another 2 weeks, surely that just is putting off the envitable. It would have given a new manager or a new regime to have 2 weeks on the training pitch to try and sort out some of the mistakes.
One thing you can say it is never dull being an Orient fan is it? I know you must be an Orient fan when you book up Carlisle away on a Tuesday night, well it might be a little better by then, I mean we can hope.