Two second half goals from new signing Ricardo Santos helped move Barnet into the play off places. Santos struck twice in the space of three second half minutes to put Barnet on their way to victory at Brisbane Road. The first he tapped home following a fumble from O’s keeper Alex Cisak before converting a low cross from Nana Kyei just minutes later. Paul McCallum headed home from a corner with 11 minutes left but Curtis Weston wrapped up victory in stoppage time.
Following their heavy defeat at Exeter on Monday, manager Andy Edwards made two changes to his side. Teddy Mezague returned from injury in place of Myles Judd as the defence reshuffled. While Josh Koroma was handed a start with Ollie Palmer dropping to the bench.
After beating the then league leaders Plymouth on Monday, the interim management team of Rossi Eames and Henry Newman named an unchanged side. Ricardo Santos continued in defence after his £100,000 move from Peterborough this month. While Simeon Akinola partnered top scorer John Akinde in attack.
Both sides looked to push forward in the opening exchanges with Barnet creating the first opportunity. After Michael Collins lost possession in the midfield, Curtis Weston crossed but the ball flashed just in front of John Akinde at the back post.
Orient were playing with Collins just behind Paul McCallum in attack with the former Huddesfield looking to create. His ball to Josh Koroma on the left saw the youngster cut in but Jamie Stephens saved his effort but Nigel Atangana’s follow up was blocked. The save was Stephens last action with the keeper forced off through injury; Josh Vickers replaced him.
The game started to settled down and it was the busy Collins who nearly struck the opener. After nicking the ball in midfield, Collins advanced to the Barnet area but his fierce 20 yard shot was tipped around the post by Vickers. The Bees responded from a quick free kick, Mauro Vilhete cut back on to his right foot, his cross found Akinde at the back post but his header back across goal evaded his strike partner Simeon Akinola.
Eames and Newman ensured that when their team lost the ball, they reverted to a 4-4-1-1 formation with Akinola sitting behind Akinde giving them extra man in the middle. As soon as play turned above Akinola was away supporting Akinde, with this almost creating the opening goal. A ball forward found Akinde, he chested to Weston in midfield, Weston’s ball behind Orient’s defence found the run of Akinola who forced Cisak into a fine save down to his right.
Barnet were beginning to get on top with Akinde causing Orient all kinds of problems at the back. The front man had too much strength and power for Tom Parkes, he advanced in to the penalty area, his initial shot was blocked before he inadvertently knocked the ball out on the rebound. Within minutes Akinde was at it again, shrugging off Yvan Erichot to leave a one on one with Cisak but Barnet’s top scorer hit his effort wide.
Cisak was called into action again when he had to tip a Mauro Vilhete effort around the post after the wing was allowed too much space to advance into the penalty area. However the sides went in level at the break.
After the break, the game opened up but Gavin Massey’s mazy run could only see the former Colchester winger fire over. However, the danger was clear to see with the Bees pace and power on the break causing Orient problems. Akinde’s run forward was picked out but his cross into the center was headed just wide by Vilhete as Barnet pushed for the opener.
Just past the hour mark, the Bees seized the advantage and took the lead. Following a corner, O’s keeper Alex Cisak fumbled collecting the cross leaving Ricardo Santos the easy opportunity to slot home from close range. The Bees were buzzing after taking the lead and doubled their lead just three minutes later by Santos. After great work on the left by Nana Kyei saw the youngster easily beat Collins before crossing to Santos to turned home.
Edwards threw on Ollie Palmer and Ulrich Nnomo in search of a response from his side. Palmer saw an effort blocked for a corner before they did pull one back. A Callum Kennedy corner found the head of Paul McCallum who beat Vickers to give Orient a hope of rescuing something from the game.
However Orient struggled to create in the final ten minutes with Barnet wrapping up victory in stoppage time. A break away saw former Orient loanee Jamal Campbell Rice strike the bar leaving Curtis Weston with an easy chance to slot home, inflicted Orient’s second defeat of 2017.
Another defeat, the second of 2017 and the number will undoubtedly grow in the rest of the season. The question on everybodies lips on exiting Brisbane Road yesterday, was how many would Portsmouth score next weekend?
A fair few you would expect after the defending so far in 2017 in evidence from O’s back line. Where do the problems lie? I don’t think anybody has enough time to list all of the problems from top to bottom at Brisbane Road. The main one currently is the players are not good enough and the squad is unbearably thin. There is no depth in the squad, I appreciate that Robbie Weir and Liam Kelly are both injuried but the same holes in the squad have been there since pre season.
Orient went one up front yesterday and I pretty sure that if Cavasin or Hessenthaler had done that, they would be majorly cristized. But with Collins behind McCallum it did offer something going forward but obviously never enough to beat Barnet. Josh Koroma was bright and lively on the wing, showing Sandro Semedo how to do the basics right.
With news of Bechetti’s lost of interest in the club and him wanting to sell Orient , it should only be a good thing. Andy Edwards stated post match that they will have to work with this group and he has tried to bring in players but they have gone to other clubs. Bechetti’s experiment has been a major fail, relegated a club from the third tier then seeing them very close to dropping through the non league trap door.
Orient need points and points fast, I don’t care how we get them or where we get them. But the ultimate aim is to preserve our football league status because at the current moment it is under severe jeopardy. The confidence has been ripped from the side after two positive results over Christmas, results I couldn’t care less about the performance as points is all Orient need at the moment. The squad looked dejected when ever we go behind taking just four points from a possible 15 games conceding the first goal.
Anyway, good news Portsmouth away next weekend, but Orient need to pick themselves up from another defeat to show some fight, passion and commitment in front of their supporters next week. If we lose which I expect most Orient fans are expecting, I want to see my team fight and play for the badge on the front of the shirt. They can move on at the start of the season, supporters will always be left…..