Plymouth Argyle 2 Leyton Orient 3
Sky Bet League Two
By Rowland Lyons at Home Park
At last, the tide appears to be turning for Danny Webb’s O’s, after they strode to a thoroughly deserved win in south Devon on Tuesday night - their first success since Boxing Day.
Sandro Semedo bagged a last-gasp stunner as the strugglers twice came back from a goal down. Antoni Sarcevic and Matty Kennedy netted for Argyle, only for star man, Gavin Massey to strike a stunning brace.
Despite a bright Orient start, with Massey posing Plymouth problems and Michael Collins unleashing a ferocious drive, from which Luke McCormick did well to make a clean block, schoolboy defending on eleven minutes allowed Sarcevic the easiest of tap-ins from Ryan Taylor’s knock-down.
Although the O’s endured more Plymouth pressure, with Yann Songo’o heading Graham Carey 23rd minute set-piece wide from only six yards out, the struggling visitors regained their early compoure and posed the home side constant problems.
Firstly, Sam Dalby forced McCormick into a splendid tip-over, before Liam Kelly’s pot-shot had to be watched by the home stopper.
But, there was nothing McCormick could do about Massey’s 43rd minute leveller. The wideman received a short Callum Kennedy pass, then skipped a couple of challenges to make an angle, before unleashing a fierce drive that was still climbing as it hit the Argyle net.
A stunned Plymouth almost hit back and former Southend loanee, Jakub Sokolik was left rueing a point-blank miss from Songo’o’s stoppage time knock-on.
Buoyed by their leveller, the O’s found another gear after the turnaround. Having lead Gary Sawyer a merry dance, Josh Koroma’s cross caused panic stations and McCormick forced into a smart save.
But, the Pilgrims got their noses in front, once again and against the run of play, on 54 minutes when an unchallenged Matty Kennedy blasted home from a position not too dissimilar to Massey’s strike.
Try as they might, the east Londoners did their level best to get back in the game and
Dalby went close with a towering header, before the now overworked McCormick had to be on his mettle to clamber down at the foot of his post to fend off Koroma’s fine 76th minute drive.
However, as the O’s showed last weekend, at Yeovil, that there is a new-found spirit in the camp.
Having seen Plymouth’s Kennedy and Songo’o hit the woodwork, the inspired O’s threw men forward and finally got their reward on 88 minutes when Massey swept home after Dalby had helped on a deep Semedo cross.
Not content with a solitary point, Semedo turned goalscorer in stoppage time. A Massey-led break saw the winger slam home from close range, to not only silence the home crowd, but give the 156-strong travelling support another rewarding journey back home.
Home boss, Derek Adams said: "We were the better team in the first-half, and Leyton Orient in the second period. But, the referee didn’t have a good night and should have sent-off Orient’s Hunt and Kelly."
"However, we didn’t defend well enough and let Orient cause us problems. After Kennedy’s goal we should have been two or three goals up - especially when we hit the post twice. Massey - though - caused us problems all night, and was the best player on the pitch by a mile."
Webb added: "It’s pleasing on the win and the performance, but no more than the previous game, because we didn’t win. You start adding building blocks and togetherness - and it showed tonight."
"We played some attacking football, without overplaying. But, remember we’re still second from bottom - so we haven’t suddenly turned into Real Madrid. At the same time, there are young and not so young players out there - and they did the one hundred, or so, travelling fans proud tonight."
"The confidence in training after Carlisle, Morecambe, Yeovil has all been the same - and will be on Thursday. When you win games you might have more of a spring in your step. But, the boys aren’t stupid. If you go and lose on Saturday and put in a bad performance, the heads will go down again."
"Without sounding like a broken record, the lads kept going after conceding against Carlisle, Morcambe and Yeovil and tonight. That’s all I ask. I keep trying telling the boys about effort, team ethic, performance and the results. We must make sure we take this into the next game."
He enthused: "Tonight there were ten Academy products out there - which is outstanding. But, don’t forget about the seven who aren’t - because they bring so much to the table."
"I thought the team was excellent and probably the most one-sided second-half I’ve ever seen. But, without taking anything away from Derek and his team, I think they’re still on course to get promotion. But, we were underdogs and - perhaps - in the second-half they had a bit of an off-night."
Man-of-the-match, Gavin Massey: "I’m relieved - at the end of the day. It was nothing less than we deserved - as we had chance, after chance. We had that attitude that we had nothing to lose, as the ref wasn’t giving us much this evening. As the game went on I started have more influence on the game, as did the team."
"The performances have been good and we should have had twelve points from the four games the new gaffer has been in charge. But, obviously, it has been a bit more difficult at home. Though, things have eased as the fans will have seen we’ve been putting in the performances as of late and every manager has come out and said that we shouldn’t be in the bottom two."
"Hopefully, teams will give us a bit more respect. But, we are where we are and only we can get ourselves out of this mess. But, no one expected us to win tonight. Although, Yeovil beat Plymouth the other week and we nicked a point off Yeovil at the weekend.
"At the end of the day, what was there to lose [tonight], as they [Plymouth] are top of the League, they’re going to win and everyone’s had us down on the accumulator to lose."
Orient entertain fellow strugglers, Notts County this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Plymouth Argyle: Luke McCormick, Oscar Threlkeld, Jakub Sokolik, Gary Sawyer, Yann Songo’o, Sonny Bradley (Nauris Bulvitis 15), David Fox, Antoni Sarcevic (Liam Donaldson 38), Graham Carey (Jake Jervis 80), Matt Kennedy, Ryan Taylor.
Subs (not used): Vincent Dorel (gk), Jordan Slew, Jimmy Spencer, Craig Tanner.
Leyton Orient: Sam Sergeant, Myles Judd, Nicky Hunt, Tom Parkes, Callum Kennedy, Jordan Koroma, Gavin Massey, Micheal Collins, Liam Kelly, Sandro Semedo, Sam Dalby.
Subs (not used): Charlie Grainger (gk), Teddy Mezague, Rowan Liburd, Feddy Moncur, Victor Adeboyejo, Steven Alzate, Michael Clark.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Assistants: Robert Dabbs & Mark Derren
Fourth Official: Simon Long