Kitch frustrated by lacklustre O’s

Leyton Orient v Fleetwood Town – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Reaction

Leyton Orient 0-1 Fleetwood Town

Former Leyton Orient frontman Peter Kitchen shared the frustration of the E10 audience after the O’s slipped to a single-goal Sky Bet League One defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town in their final home fixture of the campaign.

Speaking to Yellow Sport, Kitchen said: “The O’s were looking to sign off quite a successful campaign back in League One in front of a sell-out crowd, whilst opponents Fleetwood Town, who have spent the whole season struggling in the bottom four, were just waiting for the inevitable confirmation of their relegation once other results from around the country were all in. 

“Subsequent celebrations of a tenth-placed finish were expected to be served up to the fans after the match but it all felt a little flat after we failed to find an end product for our first-half dominance and allowed the Cod Army back into the game after the break.

“They then put a further dampener on proceedings when Xavier Simons fired in an added-time winner to the complete dismay of the home fans. Richie Wellens couldn’t hide his after-match disappointment and frustration with and criticism of his players and the need to add several new faces to the squad for next season if we are to push on, whilst news of fifth-bottom Burton Albion’s win at home to Reading sealed Fleetwood fate.”

Kitchen continued: “There was plenty of endeavour in the game from both sides and both had several chances to win the game, but it was a typical end-of-season game with little to play for and both sets of players looking jaded, leggy and lacking in energy and creativity. 

“Only Ollie O’Neil and Ethan Galbraith for the home side looked likely to lift spirits and break the deadlock for the O’s. The defeat means that we may lose out on the expected top-ten finish, if Wycombe Wanderers win both their remaining games, although whether we finish tenth or eleventh in the table is frankly irrelevant. 

“Notwithstanding the result and the performance which was in stark contrast to the eye-catching wins away at Champions Portsmouth and home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers, I’m sure this game will soon be forgotten. 

“It should not take away from how well the team has performed overall this season and this was evident amongst most of the fans that I spoke with after the game. 

“They were fairly reticent about the result and clearly accepted that the spate of injuries to key players during the season was a major factor in the inconsistency we’ve shown at times.”

Kitchen concluded: “The defeat to an already relegated club does however further highlight a distinct lack of firepower up front, the need for more quality in key areas and more depth in the squad.

“I’m sure that Richie has already started to look at this for next season and he may also give games to some of the youngsters in their final match away at Shrewsbury Town next week.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk