Kitch relieved as O’s play their ‘get out of jail’ card

Brian Jeeves
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Cheltenham Town v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League One – The Completely-Suzuki Stadium – Reaction

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leyton Orient 

Peter Kitchen was both delighted and relieved after Leyton Orient snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at bottom-of-the-table Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

The O’s headed west without a league win in seven, but turned this one on its head late on: “We received a couple of early Christmas presents,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport. 

“A ‘get out of jail’ card and a huge slice of good fortune as we came from behind to take all three points from a game we certainly didn’t deserve to win at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium. 

“However, sometimes a team needs a bit of luck and it’s fair to say that every O’s fan will be mightily relieved that we got ours and ended a run of seven games without a win which has certainly lifted some of the gloom of recent weeks.”

The former frontman continued: “Cheltenham were coming into this game at the bottom of the league but have been much-improved under recent appointee Darryl Clarke and were on a mini-revival, unbeaten in their last four games and back into contention to get themselves out of the relegation places. 

“It was one of those games with everything to play for and with both sides looking to avoid defeat. As expected, Richie Wellens gave summer signing Dan Agyei a first start of the season after recent substitute appearances in his quest for match fitness. Omar Beckles started at the expense of suspended Brandon Cooper. 

“The home side started brightly and went close in the early stages, but the O’s were handed another boost in the eighteenth minute when Ben Williams was shown a second yellow card in as many minutes. 

“Despite the numerical advantage, the O’s were struggling to find their rhythm and the performance was poor as they failed to make the most of the extra man and despite having over seventy per cent of the first half possession, we hardly managed a shot on goal.

“We didn’t improve after the break. The home side seized the initiative. The inevitable happened when they were awarded a penalty in the sixty-eighth-minute, which was converted by Will Goodwin. 

“Richie made several substitutions as we tried to get back into the game. In the closing stages, our persistence was rewarded when first, Shaq Forde’s shot was deflected into his own goal by Long in the eighty-ninth-minute and deep into added time, Ethan Galbraith’s shot from just outside the box was also deflected past keeper Southwood into the Cheltenham goal. 

Kitchen concluded: “The three points were very welcome ahead of the four challenging festive period fixtures and lifted the O’s up to fourteenth in the League One table. However, we need to improve substantially if we are to emerge from these forthcoming games still in a comfortable mid-table position. 

“The current performances are a worry in that we are still dominating possession, but we appear to have lost our energy, direction and purpose and without a focus and an end product we will continue to struggle to score goals. 

“The positive viewpoint, however, is that we are in a comfortable mid-table position and almost into the January transfer window, so it will be key for us to bring in some new faces with fresh impetus and important they are the right players for the way we set up and play.” 

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk