A Tom Eaves header 14 minutes from time, condemned Orient to a third home defeat in four games. After picking up four points on their travels after a 2-1 win at Morecambe and a 2-2 draw at Carlisle last weekend, all that was left was to back it up with a performance at Brisbane Road. Could it be done?
Well, it is not an unknown fact that Leyton Orient have struggled at home in recent years but with a side sitting 23rd in League Two and losing their previous five league matches, surely they could pick up a win?
Orient remained unchanged from their draw at Carlisle last weekend but were handed boosts with Nigel Atangana and Jay Simpson returning to the substitutes bench. Yeovil looking to prevent a sixth consecutive league defeat welcomed back captain Darren Ward for Alex Lawless who dropped to the bench.
In a low key start, Orient could only muster half chances with Gavin Massey seeing a volley easily saved by Artur Krysiak in the Yeovil goal. The away side were looking to frustrate the O’s who had already lost at home twice this season to Mansfield and Newport County.
Yeovil manager Darren Way stated pre match “Orient will play physical, we will have to deal with that diaganol ball forward. They have threats in wide areas, Massey is very positive 1 vs 1″
Both Gavin Massey and Harry Cornick both had loan spells at Yeovil in recent years, “We know Gav and Harry as they were here. We saw what Harry was about last year, we have to make sure we stop Cornick early, preventing it from source”.
As you can see, Yeovil’s back four was set with Butcher giving protection to his center backs as the deep lying midfielder. Matt Dolan and Kevin Dawson, playing just in front of Butcher were sitting directly on Orient’s midfield two.
This prevented Orient’s central midfielders from picking the ball up playing forward to Harry Cornick and Gavin Massey on the wings. Time and time again, Weir and Kelly were put under pressure in possession, resulting in the ball being played wide to the full backs.
With the pressure on Orient’s two central midfielders, it left Yeovil’s spare man, Butcher to mop up any loose balls in midfield.
Way also spoke about Orient’s long balls forward which they dealt with very well all game. Helped by Butcher’s position in midfield.
Threats in Wide Areas
Both Harry Cornick and Gavin Massey have been threats throughout the season for Orient and was a major strength for Orient according to Way. With Way and Yeovil having some intelligence based that both Orient’s wingers had played for the Glovers in seasons gone by. Massey and Cornick struggled throughout to get involved in proceedings looking to come inside to receive the ball.
Yeovil’s full back’s Liam Shephard and man of the match Nathan Smith performed excellently against the wingers, listening directly to their manager. As soon as Massey and Cornick received the ball, their full back pressed them straight away preventing them from starting and building an attack.
Conceding goals has been a problem for the O’s for the past two seasons, however especially this season. Set pieces? Do Orient practice them? It appears that defending them in an Orient shirt appears the most difficult thing to do on a football pitch. Once more the O’s were undone by a set piece, a quick set pieces something that should never happen.
Alongside Orient’s vulnerability of conceding goals in the second half (8 of their 9 goals) and in the final 15 minutes of matches (5 of their 9 goals). Concentration, awareness…. who knows but the fact remains Orient have dropped 6 points in the final 15 minutes of matches and would sit 2nd in the division had games finished on 75 minutes.
Where did it go wrong?
Following a poor clearance by Aron Pollock giving away a corner to Yeovil, as the ball goes out of play, 5 of Orient’s players in the 18 yard box are not facing the ball. Why? Low concentration levels but with 15 minutes to go in a match, every set piece could prove pivotal and it proved just that…
Following a short corner routine which Alex Cisak revealed that Orient knew about before hand, Matt Butcher crossed to Tom Eaves who head home at the back post. With a spare man behind Eaves if had missed the ball, horrendous marking from the O’s who were rightfully punished.
What Could Orient have done Differently
From the outset, Yeovil had an extra man in midfield allowed them to press Orient higher resulting in the home side from continuing to go long. Why was there not a tactical change? With Nigel Atangana on the bench could Orient not have changed to a 4-3-3 formation matching up to Yeovil formation and giving them something to thing about.
Jordan Bowery was ineffective throughout the first half, Andy Hessenthaler could have sacrificed Bowery to put Atangana into the midfield which would strengthen it up. This inclusion in the middle, allows Cornick and Massey freedom to roam to support McCallum in attack.
With Plymouth at home a week tomorrow, I sure Derek Adams would look at how Yeovil tactically set up on Saturday as let’s not pull any punches: they got it spot on.
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