Awesome Orient on the brink

Sutton United v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League Two – VBS Community Stadium – Report

Sutton United 0-2 Leyton Orient

Two magnificent first-half strikes from Kieran Sadlier and Tom James saw Leyton Orient ascend to the brink of automatic promotion from League Two with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.

Richie Wellens made three changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Harrogate Town on Monday with James, Ed Turns and Darren Pratley coming into the side for Jayden Sweeney, Jamie McCart and Jordan Brown.

Cheered on by over 1,500 travelling supporters, O’s started the game well when in the eleventh minute, James’ free kick found Sadlier on the near post, only for the Bolton Wanderers loanee to flick the ball over the crossbar.

Just two minutes later, after Ruel Sotiriou was fouled it was Sadlier again who stepped up to rifle home a stunning free-kick off the crossbar past the despairing Jack Rose from thirty yards out to put O’s 1-0 up and spark scenes of celebration amongst their fans. 

With O’s totally in the ascendency, they doubled their lead in the twenty-fifth minute when Paul Smyth played in James to thunder the ball home into the far corner of the net – the Welshman’s fourth league goal of the season.   

Sadlier almost made it 3-0 only to spoon Smyth’s cross past the far post and Rose produced a fine save from Smyth shortly after the half-hour mark.

With Sutton offering little in attack, their best chance of the first half came when Enzio Boldewijn’s angled free kick from just outside the area flew just over Lawrence Vigouroux’s crossbar.

The U’s came out with renewed vigour after the break looking to find a way back into the game with Harry Beautyman’s free kick being well caught by Vigouroux before former O’s striker Lee Angol headed Boldewijn’s cross wide minutes after.

Sadlier had two further chances to add to the total as O’s continued to dominate, firstly being denied by Rose when put through by James’s pinpoint pass and then shortly after, angling his shot over the bar after being played in by the ever-dangerous Smyth.

O’s substitute Charlie Kelman had a great chance to make it 3-0 in the eighty-third minute when bursting past his man to put himself in one on one, only for Rose to pull off another outstanding save once again and deny the on-loan QPR forward.

Leyton Orient closed out the final minutes with ease to extend their unbeaten record to thirteen matches – ten points clear of Northampton Town in second place and thirteen points over fourth-placed Stockport County.

Despite BBC and Sky Sports announced that O’s were promoted following the win, Wellens side are not mathematically up yet though their place in Sky Bet League One next season should be confirmed over their next two matches – either on Tuesday at Gillingham (7.45pm kick-off) or Crewe Alexandra at Brisbane Road next Saturday (3.00pm kick-off).  

Sutton United: Rose, Boldewijn, Kizzi, Rowe, Hart, Ajiboye, Beautyman, Smith, Neufville (Kouassi 74′) Bugiel, Angol (Wilson 74′) Subs not used: Dundas, Gambin, Milsom, Dennis, Dickinson

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, James, Beckles, Turns, Rob Hunt, Pratley (Brown 77′) El Mizouni, Smyth, Moncur (Clay 89′) Sadlier (Kelman 71′) Sotiriou (Drinan 77′) Subs not used: Sargeant, Ogie, McCart

Referee: James Oldham

Assistant Referees: Ryan Whitaker and Conor Farrell

Fourth Official: David Harrison

Attendance: 4,828 (1,500 from Leyton Orient)