Home defeat wasn’t spoiling Kitch’s O’s party 

Brian Jeeves
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Leyton Orient v Stockport County – Sky Bet League Two – Brisbane Road – Reaction

Leyton Orient 0-3 Stockport County

Peter Kitchen reflected upon a tired final home performance of the season from Sky Bet League Two champions Leyton Orient and insisted the results shouldn’t take the gloss off a glorious campaign for the East London outfit.

The O’s were beaten 3-0 by in-form Stockport County at Brisbane Road. Nevertheless, it was otherwise a day of celebrations for Richie Wellens’ men.

“If the O’s were hoping to end our home campaign in style and with a convincing win, our visitors had other ideas and were certainly in the mood to be party poopers,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“However, not even a crushing defeat could put a damper on the celebrations to follow in E10. It’s hard to imagine O’s fans seeing their team beaten convincingly at home with barely an audible moan, but the hard work had already been done by Richie and the players throughout the season and nothing was going to get in the way of celebrating their teams’ first Football league championship in 53 years as Richie and the players collected the Sky Bet League Two trophy after the game to wild celebrations. 

“County came to Brisbane Road off the back of an eleven-game unbeaten run, in excellent form and with an outside chance of an automatic promotion place. They certainly came with a must-win attitude and sitting back and hoping for a point wasn’t at any time in their script. 

Kitchen continued: “From the outset, they set about the task with energy and aggression and played a high press. They got in the faces of the O’s players and bullied them, never giving them any time to settle on the ball or find any rhythm. Within five minutes they opened the scoring when Akil Wright headed in from close range. And five minutes later they made it two, with Callum Camps firing home from twenty yards, with the O’s shell-shocked as Dave Challinor’s side deservedly bossed the game. 

“The O’s were trying to find some cohesion, but despite dominating possession they couldn’t find any penetration and rarely if ever troubled the visitors’ keeper. Only Paul Smyth, on occasions, was causing the visitors any problems, but they gave him a rough time, doubling up on him with the clear intention of frustrating him and stifling his opportunities to run at their defence. 

“O’s had a go in the second half, but after soaking up any attempts we had at finding chinks in the County defence, the visitors added a third when Connor Evans headed in from a Chris Hussey free kick to seal the game in the eighty-first minute.” 

The former O’s frontman concluded: “It was a tired-looking O’s performance who appeared lacklustre and lacking in attacking ideas, but it’s hardly surprising given their fantastic record-breaking season. If they weren’t quite in the right mindset, they can be easily forgiven and forgotten. 

“Whilst the O’s sewed up the title last week, they find themselves still with a huge part to play in the promotion race as they head to Bradford City next Monday for their last match and could scupper the plans of the Bantams, who also have a midweek game in hand to play. 

“Stockport’s win and news that Northampton had lost 2-1 at home to play-off fancied Bradford, has certainly opened up a few more options at the top of the table with both Bradford and Stockport now in with a chance of leapfrogging Northampton, who now must win their last game next week at Tranmere Rovers to seal promotion.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk