Kitch picks the positives from Derby defeat for O’s

Brian Jeeves

Derby County v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League One – Pride Park – Reaction

Derby County 3-0 Leyton Orient 

Peter Kitchen provided a composed reaction to Leyton Orient’s 3-0 Sky Bet League One defeat to promotion-chasing Derby County at Pride Park.

Speaking to Yellow Sport after the East Midlands clash, the former O’s frontman said: “Orient worked very hard to make it a contest and to give second-placed Derby County a game at Pride Park in front of over 30,000 fans but it was mostly a backs-against-the-wall performance virtually from start to finish. 

“The Rams are a good, well-organised side who look destined for the Championship. The difference in experience and class from the home side was in stark contrast to the O’s and at times it was men against boys as we showed our naivety and lack of on-field characters and leaders. That’s a comment, not a criticism of any players because Richie Wellens could only play the best team from who he has available with so many of his influential players missing through injury. 

“County, with so much at stake for them are within touching distance of the Championship and with only two games left and a four-point gap to third-placed Bolton Wanderers, it’s within their own hands. The Rams just couldn’t afford to slip up against an O’s side who are looking tired and jaded and running out of steam at the end of the season and a challenging first campaign back in League One. 

“Richie made four changes to the side that drew with Exeter in midweek, with Moncur, Pratley, Forde and Edwards starting and there was a place on the bench for 16-year-old centre back, Phil Chinedu. The match went mostly as expected, with the Rams starting on the front foot, imposing themselves, setting out their attacking intent and taking the game to us. 

Kitchen continued: “We were 2-0 down within the first twenty minutes. Both goals coming from corner kicks with firstly an own goal by George Moncur after ten minutes and eight minutes later Sonny Bradley fired a loose ball into the top of the net. 

“Orient never gave in, but the contest was virtually over because we just don’t have the firepower available to change or turn things around in what is now a very threadbare squad. We were chasing the game from then on in and did have a couple of efforts on goal, but we rarely troubled the Rams. Bradley added a second from another corner kick in the eighty-sixth minute with a firm header at the back post. 

Kitchen concluded: “The 1,350 travelling O’s fans will have enjoyed their day out at Derby despite the result because they probably didn’t really expect us to get anything from the game.

“But the experience of seeing their team playing in front of such a large crowd will be a taster of what their team should aspire to. 

“Similarly, for many of the younger O’s players, the occasion will have given them a taste of where they should want to be playing football in the future and feeding the dream of playing at a higher level.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk