Leyton Orient 1 – 3 Swindon Town
Ross Embleton’s O’s were given a harsh lesson on League Two life, lady Saturday, as the promotion-seeking Robins ran out easy winners.
Jordan Maguire-Drew’s second-half was only a consolation after opening half strikes from Town’s Keshi Anderson, Rob Hunt and Jerry Yates proved too much of a mountain to climb.
Intense Swindon pressure straight from the kick-off had the O’s firmly on the backfoot, with Danny Rose having his powerful drive, from a Lloyd Isgrove flag-kick blocked.
Having seemingly settled, the hosts started to enjoy possession and even created a couple of half chances, with Conor Wilkinson in the thick of the action.
But, the Robins got their noses in front on 23 minutes, when Anderson curled home a delightful effort, having seconds before had his free-kick blocked by Josh Wright.
Anderson’s strike completely knocked the stuffing out of the struggling O’s, and Jerry Yates spurned a couple of decent opportunities.
Arguably happy to go in at the break only a goal behind, the afternoon took a turn for the worse when Hunt’s cross-come-shot took the faintest of deflections, off Joe Widdowson, and completely deceived a flat-footed Dean Brill.
Two became three deep into first-half stoppage time, when an increasingly overrun Orient defence were unable to fend off another Swindon attack, which saw Yates stroll through unchallenged and curled past a helpless Brill.
After the turnaround, relentless Swindon almost went further ahead, when Isgrove hit the bar, with Brill again struggling.
On 53 minutes Orient sub, Jordan Maguire-Drew so nearly reduced the deficit, but was denied by former Orient man, Mathieu Baudry’s goal-line clearance, after Josh Wright had managed a rare cross.
Gallows humour at least prevailed on 67 minutes when the home support were celebrating Swindon having a goal chalked off, when Yates’s effort was ruled out for an offside flag.
Credit to the O’s – they didn’t give up. Seconds after Wilkinson had hit a post, Maguire-Drew curled home a delightful effort to reduce the deficit, on 74 minutes.
Sub, Louis Dennis then twice went close, before Wright was agonizingly wide, with a close-range effort.
However, the O’s camoe was too little, too late, with the game lost in that disastrous opening period.
Orient make the long trip to Exeter City, next Saturday (kick-off 3pm)
Leyton Orient: Dean Brill, Sam Ling, Marvin Ekpiteta, Josh Coulson (capt), Dan Happe (Jordan Maguire-Drew 46), Joe Widdowson, James Brophy, Craig Clay (Dale Gorman 59), Lee Angol (Louis Dennis 64), Josh Wright, Conor Wilkinson. Subs: Sam Sargeant, Matt Harrold, George Marsh, Shadrach Ogie.
Swindon Town: Luke McCormick, Ellis Landolo, Mathieu Baudry, Dion Conroy (capt), Rob Hunt, Lloyd Isgrove, Jordan Lyden (Anthony Grant 35) Danny Rose, Keshi Anderson (Adam May 90) , Eoin Doyle, Jerry Yates. Subs: Will Yates, Tyler Reid, Tom Broadbent, Kaiyne Woolery, Taylor Curren.
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referees: Gregory Read & Joseph Stokes
Fourth Official: Paul Kelly