Leyton Orient picked up back to back wins for the first time in over a year with a 2-0 victory over Maidstone. David Mooney headed home on the hour mark before substitute Romauld Boco slid home in injury time to give Orient their second home win in a week.
O’s head coach Steve Davis named an unchanged team for the third consecutive game, looking to build on their 3-0 win over Solihull Moors on Tuesday. Fresh from his first of the season, Mooney partnered Macauley Bonne in attack while Charlie Lee continued in midfield alongside Alex Lawless.
Maidstone who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet on Tuesday were enforced into two changes. Captain Stuart Lewis began his three game suspension after his red card on Tuesday with Jack Paxman replacing him. While on loan QPR defender Alex Finney missed out through injury; Alex Wytner replaced him.
Buoyant from their first win of the season on Tuesday, Orient enjoyed large spells of possession in the opening period but were struggling to create any openings. Macauley Bonne should have done better when Jobi McAnuff and Joe Widdowson combined down the left but the former Colchester man saw his effort skid wide.
Despite failing to win either of their opening two fixtures, Maidstone provided a threat to the O’s backline with balls in behind. Tom Wraight was inches away from connecting with a through ball before Joe Pigott forced Grainger into a fine save. After controlling the ball forward, Pigott shifted the ball onto his left foot but his low shot was brilliantly saved by Grainger’s feet.
As the half grew on, the pattern of play was clear with Orient enjoying the majority of possession but finding it hard to unlock the Stones rear-guard. James Dayton was finding space for the O’s and was a bright spark in attacking areas, trying to penetrate forward. But it was Mooney who nearly set up the opener, his flick found McAnuff on the left hand side of the area but his tame shot was easily gathered by Lee Worgan.
With the scores level at half time, the game continued as it left off at the start of the second half. Bonne twice saw efforts flash wide for the hosts while Wright saw a header loop wide at the back post for the visitors. As the clock ticked towards the hour mark, Steve Davis was ready to introduce Josh Koroma from the bench.
However, after great link up play down the right between Jake Caprice and James Dayton created the opener. The bright light in a red shirt, Dayton, cut back onto his left foot and his delicious cross was flicked home by David Mooney to put the O’s ahead.
The right hand side was beginning to become fruitful for the hosts, with Caprice and Dayton linking once more but Bonne’s low effort flew wide of the far post. Stones manager Jay Saunders threw on Harley Willard as he pushed two up front looking for the equaliser.
Davis responded chucking on Craig Clay and Josh Koroma for the last ten minutes with Koroma almost netting a minute after coming on. His mazy run on the left beat two Stones defenders but the O’s academy graduate curled his shot wide of the far post.
As the clock was edging closer to 90 minutes, the crowd was becoming nervous with Orient only having a one goal cushion. Orient breathed a sigh of relief as Pigott swivelled neatly on the box, forcing Charlie Grainger into a brilliant one handed save. Delano Sam-Yorke swept home the rebound, only to see the offside flag up.
With Maidstone pushing men forward, Orient sealed victory as substitute Romauld Boco latched onto a Charlie Lee through ball to send Orient to victory.
Well, another home game, another win, easy as that? To be honest, you can tell it was Orient’s third game in a week with the same team. Throughout the O’s looked leggy in midfield and struggling to create in the final third.
With large spells of possession, it was clear that Orient were looking to draw Maidstone out and utilise the space. However the Stones were very disciplined in defence, frustrating Orient. James Dayton, the last summer recruit was the main man for the Orient, looking to pop up in pockets of space, trying to make things happen.
It was Dayton who did provide the spark for the opening goal as his flourishing partnership with Jake Caprice was again shown. As he cut onto his left foot, his inviting cross got the deserved ending as Mooney flicked home.
A patient afternoon at Brisbane Road, I think we will hear that a lot this season. But different opponent awaits on Tuesday as the O’s travel to Bromley. Another plastic pitch where Davis admitted post match that he is not a fan of them. Changes are certain to come with it being Orient’s fourth game in ten days with a squad that already had a short pre season schedule. Adding some freshness into the midfield and maybe a bit of variety on the wing could provide problems for Bromley.
Onwards and upwards to Tuesday night….