Kitch calls on O’s to put Brewers’ disappointment behind them

Brian Jeeves
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Leyton Orient v Burton Albion – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Reaction

Leyton Orient 1-2 Burton Albion

Peter Kitchen took stock of the situation after Burton Albion came from behind at the Gaughan Group Stadium to inflict a first home defeat since December 9 on Leyton Orient.

Speaking to Yellow Sports after the O’s Sky Bet League One setback, Kitchen said: “We fluffed our lines a bit against a hardworking and resolute Albion, who clearly came to E10 intent on not losing and playing with five across the back, but went home very happy, if somewhat unexpectedly with a 2-1 win. 

“It was the proverbial game of two halves where we completely dominated the first half and should have turned our dominance into a commanding lead, but instead allowed Burton to disrupt our rhythm, especially in the second half and made us look tired, lethargic and lacking in attacking ideas.”

Kitchen continued: “The O’s – who had lost only once in the last nine games – were looking to record a fourth straight home win and further enhance our prospects of a play-off place. 

The visitors, recently revitalised by a change of management, were hoping to get back-to-back wins on the road for the first time this season following their 2-1 triumph at Bristol Rovers last time out. 

“Richie Wellens made two changes to the side which put four past Northampton Town in midweek with Darren Pratley replacing the suspended Jordan Brown and Rob Hunt replacing Tom James who dropped to the bench. 

“The fans were on a high after Tuesday night’s thrilling 4-3 performance against the Cobblers. Expectations were very high and the O’s responded with an opening attacking flurry right from the start. Such was their dominance that they enjoyed 83% of the possession and it was only a matter of time before they would get the breakthrough that their attacking intent deserved.

“In the forty-third minute, this was rewarded when George Moncur put us in front from the penalty spot after Shaq Forde was brought down in the box by Totaji Bola. 

After the break, the expected second-half mauling of the Brewers didn’t materialise. The O’s failed to capitalise on their dominance. Burton’s manager, Martin Paterson’s half-time team talk must have galvanised his players because they clawed their way back into the game and on seventy-two minutes shocked the home fans when Mason Bennett equalised after Omar Beckles had given the ball away in his own half. 

“Shock turned to Shell shock when four minutes later a moment of hesitancy from O’s keeper Sol Brynn allowed Aristote Nsiala to prod home from six yards for what turned out to be the winner. 

“The O’s tried to mount a comeback, similar to the one they produced in midweek when Richie Wellens brought on five subs with fifteen minutes remaining, including Tuesday night’s late match winner Ruel Sotiriou, however, no one for the O’s was able to light the touch paper.

“It was a defeat that was especially disappointing after our recent good run, but there was a recurrence at times of some of the bad habits of being too casual at the back, too many square passes and more passes going astray as well as not taking our chances. 

“We should also give credit to the Brewers who didn’t let us play the way we wanted to and shut both us and the space in behind down. It was also a reminder that some teams are not always coming to play open attacking football, and or, trying to win games by outplaying us and this result was a reminder for us, given our recent good run. 

Kitchen concluded: “We now have two very important games in the next ten days, to bounce back Firstly, away against sixth-placed Oxford United and then a home game against eighth-placed Blackpool, both of whom will have their eyes on grabbing a play-off spot ahead of us. We need to put this one behind us, learn from it and get ready to go again.”

Brian Jeeves