Kitch offers an honest assessment after O’s are dented by Derby

Leyton Orient v Derby County – Sky Bet League One – Gaughan Group Stadium – Reaction

Leyton Orient 0-3 Derby County

Peter Kitchen reflected upon a difficult afternoon which saw Leyton Orient’s recent winless Sky Bet League One sequence continue as Derby County recorded a comfortable three-goal success at the Gaughan Group Stadium.

The former O’s frontman was impressed with the in-form visitors, telling Yellow Sport: “We were comprehensively beaten by Derby, who looked every bit like a side who will be amongst those promoted to the Championship come the end of the season. 

“They were well drilled in defence and gave a masterclass in showing how to turn defence into attack quicker than any side I’ve seen in this division so far and when they broke forward they had five or six players sprinting forward on breakaways, creating several occasions when their attackers outnumbered the O’s defenders. 

“However, the importance of taking your chances when a team is dominating play was never more apparent for us than in the first twenty-five minutes of the game. 

“Orient – who were looking to bounce back from last week’s dismal FA Cup exit at the hands of National League Chesterfield and a tongue-lashing from manager Richie Wellens, started very brightly. We took the game to the visitors and after only five minutes Theo Archibald was given an easy opportunity to give us an early lead, but somehow contrived to miss kick his shot with only the keeper to beat.

“Shortly after, Ruel Sotiriou cleverly created space for himself in the box only to then volley straight at the keeper and almost immediately after this Pigott failed to get on the end of a searching cross from Sotiriou, allowing the Derby defence to clear their lines. 

Kitchen continued: “Good teams inevitably make their opposition pay for being profligate in front of goal and after gaining more of a foothold in the game, County took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Louie Sibley was able to run at the O’s defence and drove in a superb left-foot shot low into the far corner. Soon after, they immediately wasted the chance to go two up when James Collins blasted over with only the keeper to beat. 

“O’s misery was compounded further just before half-time when Brandon Cooper was shown a straight red card for an apparent elbow to the face on Collins. He will now miss the next three games. 

“Almost immediately after the restart, the Rams made it 2-0 through Mendez-Laing. However, substitute Omar Beckles thought he’d given the O’s a lifeline when he scored at the far post from a free kick, only to be ruled offside. 

“From then on, the wheels came off for the O’s. Derby was in total control and looking very likely to add to their tally, and when we made a complete hash of a corner, allowing Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen to break clear eleven minutes from time, the latter was given the simplest of chances to pass the ball into an empty net. 

Kitchen concluded: “It was a farcical goal to concede and summed up the O’s second-half performance. We are in a poor run of form and are now without a win in seven. 

“We are still in a comfortable mid-table position and with plenty of opportunities to turn around their situation as we approach the season’s halfway mark. But we must learn how to win again, so the visit to bottom club Cheltenham Town next week is bound to take on huge significance.”

Brian Jeeves