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Leyton Orient 2-3 Carlisle United
Jobi McAnuff’s O’s season is ending in a whimper after his team capitulated, losing a third consecutive game in which they were in control, especially after Conor Wilkinson fired home, after barely three minutes, on Saturday.
Tippy-tappy Lawrence Vigouroux and Dan Happe indecision, then saw the hapless defender floor, Omari Patrick, for the soon to be subbed Offrande Zanzale
enable Vigouroux to make a comfortable block from an exceptionally poor penalty kick.
However, after Wilkinson had blown a golden chance to increase the East Londoners’ lead, they were given another chance as referee, Mr Allison, penalised Cumbrians’ keeper, Magnus Norman, for flooring a clean through Wilkinson.
As poor as Zanzale’s fluffed twelve-yarder, Daniel Kemp’s 24th-minute kick lacked conviction and Norman was able to paw the ball away.
It’s never a good time to concede, but two minutes from the break the O’s switched off from Callum Guy’s lofted flag-kick and sub., Jon Mellish was allowed too much time and space to nod in a leveller.
The O’s, almost immediately got another lucky break. Kemp profited from seemingly infectious defensive indecision, this time involving Carlisle’s George Tanner and Norman. The fleet of foot former Hammer then rounded the keeper and cooly slotted home from a tight angle.
But, Carlisle served a warning with Joe Kayode hitting Vigouroux’s far post straight from the restart and Joe Riley rattled the Orient bar soon after the turnaround.
The shot-shy O’s – with Wilkinson managing their solitary second-half on-target effort – fell behind after McAnuff’s almost nonchalant 54th-minute trip, on wideman Riley, saw Alessandra fire home from the spot.
In a frantic finale, with Carlisle creating the better openings, the visitors got a deserved winner courtesy of Tanner’s enterprising run and fine finish, capping an ultimately forgettable last home game of an inconsistent Orient season.
Interim boss, McAnuff admitted: “It was a bit of a ‘mad’ one today. Obviously, both teams were trying to get themselves going. We were too open at the end – in an attacking position. It’s difficult winning footbal matches conceding three goals.”
“We wanted to win and finish the season well. Both teams created plenty of chances. But, defensively we weren’t good enough to warrant a win today.”
McAnuff paid tribute to Wilkinson: “We wanted to try him in the middle, especially with his link-up. He did brilliantly today. He was certainly a plus point for us today.”
Only the O’s and Championship outfit, Huddersfield Town, have failed to score from spot, so far, this season, and McAnuff rued: ”Dan Kemp has scored penalties before. I’d back him for the next one. It was just one of those things.”
Victorious Carlisle manager, Chris Beech: “We had twenty-three shots, hit the post, hit the bar and scored three goals. That shows the intent of the lads – which I’m very proud of.”
Orient wrap up their campaign at Salford City on Saturday May 8 (kick-off 3pm).
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Tunji Akinola, Jamie Turley (Sam Ling 46′), Dan Happe, Joe Widdowson, Conor Wilkinson, Oussumane Cissé, Jobi McAnuff (Capt) (Craig Clay 63′), Dan Kemp, James Brophy, Louis Dennis (Danny Johnson 63′) Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Sam Ling, Craig Clay, Ruel Sotiriou, Nick Freeman, Tristan Abrahams
Carlisle United: Magnus Norman, George Tanner, Aaron Hayden, Nick Anderton (Capt), Jack Armer, Joe Riley, Callum Guy, Lewis Alessandra, Omari Patrick (Ethan Walker 63′)(Cadwyn Scott 86′), Offrande Zanzale (Jon Mellish 22′), Josh Kayode Subs not used: Paul Farman (GK), Danny Devine, Taylor Charters, Josh Dixon
Referee: Sam Allison
Assistants: Louis Marks and Paul Evans
Fourth Official: Gary Maskell