Leyton Orient 4 Bolton Wanderers 0
- Johnson 8′
- McAnuff 41′
- Wikinson 44′
- Clay 57′
Ross Embleton’s O’s to a long-awaited first home win of the season on Saturday, as three first-half Danny Johnson, Jobi McAnuff and Conor Wilkinson strikes brushed aside a poor Bolton side.
Craig Clay’s screamer soon after the turnaround capped an excellent performance. The O’s are now unbeaten in four outings.
This was after Johnson had fluffed his lines from the penalty spot, in a barnstorming opener. Having drew Bolton keeper, Billy Crellin, he look set to score, only for the young keeper – who had come under criticism from his manager for a poor performance only the weekend before – to pull down the Orient striker.
Referee, Brett Huxtable, immediately pointed to the spot, but didn’t even yellow card the visiting keeper. Johnson then stepped up, but his weak effort was easily saved by Crellin.
However, Johnson made amends barely six minutes later and prodded home from close range after Wanderers had failed clear a McAnuff flag-kick. James Brophy’s run and cross put the ball on a plate for the ex-Gateshead man to notch his ninth of the season.
Having seen Ali Crawford spurn the Trotters’ best opportunity – heading wide Nathan Delfouneso’s 14th minute centre – Johnson was soon close to doubling his tally, only for Ryan Delaney to make a desperate goal line block.
Orient kept up the pressure and two goals in three minutes, close to the interval, saw McAnuff net with a stunning free-kick, which nestled in the top corner, before Wilkinson’s low, driven set-piece beat the flat-footed Crellin at his near post.
Bolton briefly rallied after the interval, having made a couple of substitutions, but the O’s weren’t finished and Brophy’s fine run and square ball allowed Clay to pick his spot and fire into the top corner, with 33 minutes still remaining.
With Tuesday night’s trip to Forest Green Rovers in mind, Embleton soon rang the changes, bringing on Josh Wright, Louis Dennis and Jordan Maguire-Drew to replace the excellent McAnuff, Brophy and Wilkinson, respectively.
Head coach Embleton was entitled to wear a smile and told Leyton Orient.com: “I’m extremely proud. We’re setting a standard and I thought we scored at really good times today. And the quality and the performance today was probably the highest standard we’ve reached since I’ve been in charge.”
He added: “There were four good goals. Danny Johnson shows – for me – incredible resilience – he’ll be disappointed with the penalty – but got himself in a good position to tuck his chance away”.
“The free-kicks were outstanding. Jobi McAnuff doesn’t leave any room for and no keeper in the world stops that. Then Conor Wilkinson’s clever enough to spot the gap in the wall to hit it into that space. So, I’m delighted and no more so that Craig Clay’s ‘collector’s piece’ hitting it into the top corner!”
Bolton boss, Ian Evatt admitted: “The way we started the game loses us all three points, really. We get away with it with Crellin’s penalty save – but then we don’t learn our lesson. No one listens. No one learns. We lose.”
Goalscorer, Wilkinson added: “The most important thing was to get the three points. The four goals are a bonus. After the Corona Virus outbreak – and the Cheltenham defeat aside – which was to be expected – we’ve hit the ground running. And, ever since we’ve always felt we can get a result wherever we go.”
Leyton Orient: Laurence Vigouroux, Tunji Akinola, Josh Coulson, Dan Happe, Joe Widdowson, Jobi McAnuff (capt) (Josh Wright 68), Ouss Cissé, Craig Clay, James Brophy (Louis Dennis 75), Conor Wilkinson (Jordan Maguire-Drew 83), Danny Johnson. Subs (not used): Sam Sargeant (gk), James Dayton, Jamie Turley, Hector Kyprianou.
Bolton Wanderers: Billy Crellin, Alex Baptiste (Liam Gordon 46), Ricardo Santos, Ryan Delaney, Peter Kioso, Antoni Sarcevic (capt), Andrew Tutte (Brandon Comley 46) Harry Brockbank, Ali Crawford, Arthur Gnahoua, Nathan Delfouneso (Ronan Darcy 19). Subs (not used): Jak Hickman, Tom White, Jamie Mascoll, Reiss Greenidge, Darcy.
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Assistants: Louis Marks and Scott Williams
Fourth Official: Stephen Brown