Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Leyton Orient
An amazing second-half transformation saw Ross Embleton’s O’s enjoy an ultimately comfortable cup win, on Saturday.
Trailing at the break, after defender, Dan Happe’s unfortunate own goal, two goals in four minutes soon after the turnaround, courtesy of the excellent hitmen, Danny Johnson and Conor Wilkinson, put the O’s in the hat for a potentially big cup payday. A happy Embleton revealed: “Chairman, Nigel Travis, said that he wanted us to win today. It gave a little edge for us to win today.”
The Green Devils dominated straight from the start and the East Londoners’ goal endured a charmed life, with Lawrence Vigouroux superbly pawing away Dan Sweeney’s 8th-minute rasping drive. Despite Johnson nearly opening the scoring, but ultimately being penalized for offside, Rovers broke and Happe was the fool guy sliding home Nicky Cadden’s driven cross.
Arguably grateful to be only the single goal down, after the former Greenock Morton winger, Cadden had run the Orient defence ragged, Embleton’s half-time team talk obviously worked wonders as two Orient quick goals turned this cup tie on its head. Showing good attacking intent right from the re-start, Johnson saw his powerful effort blocked, after good Lee Angol industry.
Barely three minutes later the ex-Gatehead hitman turned his marker and beat Luke McGee to equalise with a wonderful chip. And, with their tails up and the Rovers defence still in shock, Wilkinson, put the O’s ahead. By beating his marker, on the bye-line, the former Dagenham man netted with a fine curling effort through the unfortunate McGee’s legs.
Indeed, with the bit between their teeth, the O’s pressed for a third, with former Tottenham and Portsmouth keeper, McGee doing well to fend off fine Wilkinson and Lee Angol efforts. With only Rovers’ schemer, Carl Winchester offering any response to the Johnson-Wilkinson salvo, the O’s comfortably held out – with home defender, Chris Stokes, going for a spectacular stoppage-time finish, but blasting over into a neighbouring field.
Embleton added: “We were conscious of defending too deep and with Forest Green overloading down our right wing. So after the interval, we needed to to set up – defensively – differently, whilst helping us to counter-attack better.
“Our second-half mindset was better and the players delivered the game plan well, with Danny Johnson and Conor Wilkinson taking their goals well. But, a special mention must go to Lee Angol. He did an exceptional job. Not only in attack but did a good job helping out the defence when, at times, he was playing out of position.”
The games are coming thick and fast and the O’s entertain Brighton and Hove Albion’s Under-23’s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, before their League Two big kick-off at Oldham Athletic, this Saturday. Embleton concluded: “Saturday at Oldham is our priority. I could have done with another week preparing the players for our opening league game. And whilst we wanted to win today, I hope I’ll be able to give some game time, on Tuesday, to players who weren’t involved today.”
Forest Green Rovers: Luke McGee, Kane Wilson, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Chris Stokes, Udoka Godwin-Malife, Dan Sweeney, Carl Winchester, Ebou Adams, Aaron Collins (Shawn McCoulsky 82′), Nicky Fadden, Jamille Matt (Matty Stevens 71′) Subs not used: Lewis Thomas (GK), Liam Kitching, Taylor Allen, Jack Evans, Scott Wagstaff
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Sam Ling, Dan Happe, Josh Coulson, James Brophy, Jobi McAnuff (Josh Wright 84′), Ousseynou Cisse, Craig Clay (James Dayton 72′), Danny Johnson, Conor Wilkinson, Lee Angol Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Joe Widdowson, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Jordan Thomas, Jamie Turley
Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistants: Marvyn Pamphlett and Richard Morris
Fourth Official: Michael Begley