O’s bounce back to stun U’s

Oxford United v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League One – Kassam Stadium – Report

Oxford United 1-2 Leyton Orient

Ollie O’Neill and George Moncur were both on target in the second half as Leyton Orient came from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 victory over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium to further boost their end-of-season Sky Bet League One play-off ambitions.

Richie Wellens made two changes to the O’s starting line-up following the 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion on Saturday with Tom James and Ruel Sotiriou replacing Rob Hunt and Khayon Edwards – who both dropped to the bench. 

Despite O’s starting well with Oxford keeper Jamie Cumming denying Ruel Sotiriou and Moncur early on, Tyler Goodrham put the U’s one up in the twentieth minute – turning in Ruben Rodrigues’ cross for his tenth goal of the campaign, via a deflection off the unfortunate Ethan Galbraith.

Moncur went close again just before the break, with Cumming parrying away his long-distance effort whilst Shaq Forde’s strike was similarly denied shortly after by the impressive Oxford custodian.

O’s were denied what appeared to be a strong shout for a penalty when Forde was brought to ground by Greg Leigh on the forty-five-minute mark, only for referee Martin Woods to wave away the appeal.

The East Londoners restored parity six minutes after the resumption when Idris El Mizouni’s pinpoint pass found O’Neill inside the box to turn and fire low into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1.

Buoyed by the goal, O’s pushed forward with renewed rigour in search of a second with James’ free kick going close and forcing Cumming into a magnificent save. With the E10 outfit very much in the ascendency, in the seventy-seventh minute, O’Neill found the onrushing Moncur to cut inside and unleash an unstoppable twenty-yard effort past Cumming to make it 2-1.

Despite Wellens receiving a red card and being sent to the stand near the end plus the addition of eleven minutes of stoppage time, O’s played out time with relative ease to record a deserved and memorable win.

The victory leaves Leyton Orient on fifty-one points in ninth place – just six outside the play-off spots.

Next up for O’s in Sky Bet League One is the visit of Blackpool to the Gaughan Group Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Oxford United: Cumming, Long, Negru, Brown, Leigh, Brannagan, Matete (McGuane 75′), Murphy (Bodin 76′), Rúben Rodrigues, Goodrham (Dale 64′), Harris (Goodwin 63′) Subs not used: Bennett, Eastwood, Stevens 

Leyton Orient: Brynn, Galbraith (Sanders 92′), Beckles, Cooper, James, Pratley (Hunt 79′), El Mizouni, Forde (Edwards 85′), Moncur, O’Neill, Sotiriou. Subs not used: Sweeney, Pigott, Howes, Adu-Adjei

Referee: Martin Woods

Assistants: Declan O’Shea and Simon Shaw

Fourth Official: Paul Johnson

Attendance: 8,884