Stevenage 0-2 Leyton Orient
Leyton Orient goal machine, Danny Johnson, unselfishly turned provider for fine Jordan Maguire-Drew and Conor Wilkinson strikes, as a stirring second-half show saw the O’s home to two consecutive away wins, on Saturday.
Having won narrowly at Tranmere Rovers, in midweek, the buoyant O’s had to battle an increasingly fierce storm, in the opening period and were limited to breakaways, with Jobi McAnuff and Wilkinson going closest, with keeper Lawrence Vigouroux in fine form.
The Chilean international made a super 18th minute point-blank stop to deny Danny Newton, before doing well to keep out Arthur Read’s bobbling 33rd-minute punt.
The turnaround saw Maguire-Drew replace Ruel Sotiriou – who looked in some discomfort at the interval – and within fifteen minutes the sub gave the East Londoners the advantage.
A slip from Boro’s Luther James-Wildin played in the O’s sub – who swapped passes with Johnson, to confidently slot home from close range.
Barely four minutes later, a fine move down the left flank saw Maguire-Drew’s overhead flick find the evergreen, McAnuff, who in turn squared for Johnson to set up Wilkinson, who beat the beleaguered Jamie Cummings all ends up.
Louis Dennis replaced McAnuff, but the O’s kept pressing and Dan Happe – joining the attack was inches from making it three, on 70 minutes, before Cumming was forced into a smart save to deny Johnson the goal his performance deserved.
A late Stevenage onslaught saw Vigouroux make a smart double save from Jack Aitchison and sub, Tyrone Marsh to keep a second successive clean sheet.
Delighted boss, Ross Embleton said: “What a difference a week makes! After last Saturday’s [Grimsby] defeat, I was getting all sorts of panicky texts and phone calls”.
He added: “Credit to Jordan Maguire-Drew. He wasn’t happy Conor Wilkinson took his place. But, we have a good understanding and I told him to be ready when he came off the bench. That certainly was the case with his performance and goal.”
“Our second-half performance was pleasing, after having had to battle the elements and the opposition, before the break. There was a freshness about our attack. But, we’re not going to get promoted off the back of two away wins.”
Supersub, Maguire-Drew added: “I know what I can do. I need minutes on the pitch and when I came on after the break I thought I’d try and be as positive as possible.”
Maguire-Drew admitted: “I was very pleased with my goal – that was after blocking their defender’s clearance with my knee. Danny Johnson then chased it down in the channel and squared, allowing me time to hit it home.”
The former Brighton man concluded:: “It has been a brilliant week and we just want to keep the momentum going. We have a way of playing and want to keep that going into the coming weeks”.
Stevenage: Jamie Cumming, Luther James-Wildin, Scott Cuthbert (captain), Ross Marshall, Ben Coker (Aramide Oteh 69′), Elliott List (Tyrone Marsh 61′), Elliot Osborne, Romeau Hutton, Danny Newton (Inih Effiong 61′), Arthur Read, Jack Aitchison Subs not used: Billy Johnson (GK), Romain Vincelot, Luke Prosser, Charlie Carter
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Olatunji Akinola, Josh Coulson, Dan Happe, James Brophy, Ruel Sotiriou (Jordan Maguire-Drew 46′), Craig Clay, Ouss Cisse, Jobi McAnuff (captain) (Louis Dennis 67′), Danny Johnson, Conor Wilkinson (Josh Wright 79′) Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Joe Widdowson, James Dayton, Jamie Turley
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Assistants: Nicholas Cooper and Stuart Butler
Fourth Official: James Adcock