Leyton Orient v Bolton Wanderers – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Report
Leyton Orient 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
Promotion hopefuls Bolton Wanderers saw their four-match winning record abruptly ended by Leyton Orient at the Gaughan Group Stadium with Dan Agyei netting the only goal of the game as O’s continued their own victorious run of form with their third Sky Bet League One win in succession.
O’s head coach Richie Wellens made just the one change to the side that defeated Portsmouth 3-0 at Fratton Park last week with Jayden Sweeney coming into the starting line-up to replace Tom James, who had been given compassionate leave for the game.
Following their 2-1 defeat FA Cup Third Round to Luton Town at the Toughsheet Stadium, Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt brought in Jack Iredale and Kyle Dempsey in place of both Will Forrester and Paris Maghoma.
After O’s skipper Omar Beckles had laid a wreath in front of the travelling supporters in memory of lifelong Bolton Wanderers fan Iain Purslow, 71, who tragically passed away during their match against Cheltenham Town on Saturday, January 13, the game kicked off in sub-zero conditions with the teams being roared on raucously and enthusiastically by both sets of fans.
With the teams showing great energy but taking time to settle early on, O’s talisman Theo Archibald set off on a great run from his own half, only to be brought down in a good position just outside the area.
The Scotsman took the free kick himself, only to see Trotter’s keeper Nathan Baxter get down well to his left to cling on to the ball with relative ease.
As the game progressed, chances were few and far between, however after a crisp interchange of play, Beckles cut inside to find Max Sanders, who played in Shaq Forde on the right only for the in-form striker to curl his effort just inches wide of the upright.
With O’s pushing forward and Bolton virtually camped inside their own half, just after the half-hour, Dan Ageyi beat Bolton Wanderers skipper Ricardo Santos on the left side to win a corner – from which ensued a frantic scramble inside the six-yard box before Sweeney was adjudged to have handled before any O’s player was able to fashion a goalscoring opportunity.
Just minutes later, Beckles tried his luck from around thirty yards out – only to see his rising shot drift over the crossbar.
Shortly before the break, against the run of play and with their first chance of the half, Bolton broke quickly with Victor Adeboyejo laying the ball off to Thomason, whose lofted ball across the area was headed against the right post by Dion Charles from ten yards out with Sol Brynn beaten. A big let-off for O’s who went into half-time having been dominant throughout the first forty-five minutes but following the missed chance, somewhat fortuitous to still be on level terms.
O’s came flying out of the blocks after the resumption with Agyei firing inches wide of the top left corner from distance with the first play of the second half, before seconds later, Idris El Mizouni found Sanders out wide to shoot just wide of the opposite upright.
With Leyton Orient continuing to press high, on fifty-one minutes, Baxter denied Sanders in the bottom corner however just three minutes later, the ever-dangerous Agyei received Sweeney’s pass just inside the Bolton half before leaving the visitors’ defence in his wake to run on and fire the ball low past the keeper – for his third goal in three games – to make it 1-0 to Wellens men.
Just before the hour mark, the Trotters had a fantastic opportunity for an equaliser when Charles found himself through one-on-one in the O’s area – only for Brynn to pull off a fine last-ditch save to thwart the Northern Ireland international.
Despite Bolton starting to assert themselves more into the game in the closing stages, the O’s continued to take the game to the visitors with the lively Shaq Forde creating space for himself just outside the box before his fierce effort forced Baxter into action once again.
O’s boss Wellens was sent off by referee Alex Chilowicz in the eighty-first minute after stopping Bolton’s Randell Williams from trying to gain extra yards at a throw-in just in front of the home dugout but despite the addition of seven minutes of stoppage time at the end and a mistake by Beckles that gifted Josh Dacres-Cogley a clear shooting opportunity on the right – which was skied over the crossbar – the O’s closed out the match with some ease to claim their third win in as many games, whilst also recording their fifth clean sheet in a row.
Next up for Leyton Orient is a trip to the Select Car Leasing Stadium to play Reading in Sky Bet League One next Saturday (3pm).
Leyton Orient: Brynn, Sweeney, Happe, Agyei (Moncur 87’) Brown (Pratley 66’) Archibald, El Mizouni, Forde, Omar Beckles (Capt) Sanders (Sotiriou 70’) Subs not used: Byrne, Turns, Pigott, Cooper
Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale, Thomason, Santos (Capt) Sheehan (Morley 58’), Charles (Bodvarsson 58’) Dacres -Cogley, Adeboyejo (Jerome 58’) Toal, Dempsey (Maghoma 71’) Ashworth (Williams 71’) Subs not used: Coleman, Matheson
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistants: Damith Bandara and Stephen Finch
Fourth Official: Joseph Stokes