Leyton Orient 2-1 Mansfield Town
Ross Embleton’s O’s took another big step to League Two survival, on Tuesday night, with a hard-fought win.
James Dayton saw his stroke of half-time opener cancelled out by Kelland Watts before Stags’ Max Benning appeared to get the last touch to Lee Angol’s knock-on.
The hosts enjoyed a lucky, fourth minute escape the when Stags’ dangerman Nicky Maynard – saw a snapshot disallowed for offside.
Then, on the O’s first meaningful attack, Conor Wilkinson blew an excellent chance – on 12 minutes – after Dan Happe had struck a post from Lee Angol’s telling cross.
Orient then dominated, without breaking down a seemingly resolute Mansfield defence.
They were often guilty of overplaying, on a sticky surface and nearly came unstuck on 37 minutes when they allowed Maynard a free hit, from ten yards, but the underworked Lawrence Vigouroux pulled off an excellent low, one-handed palm away.
This escape inspired the O’s and workhorse, Craig Clay’s defence-splitting pass, on the stroke of half-time, saw Dayton fire home – beating Bobby Olejnik with a powerful, low effort at his near post.
Straight after the turnaround, with Wilkinson dominant, his fine cross caused Mansfield problems, only for Ossu Cissé to blow an excellent chance – slicing wide from ten yards.
Having seen Clay go close, Mansfield broke and from Benning’s 60th-minute flag-kick, Watts rose unchallenged and powered home a near-post header – thereby undoing all the O’s good work.
But, the O’s hit back and clever Happe play freed up sub, Jordan Maguire-Drew, who put the ball on the plate for Angol to deflect the ball home off the unfortunate Benning.
Despite a nervy last quarter the O’s held out.
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, George Marsh, Josh Coulson, Dan Happe, James Brophy, James Dayton (Josh Wright 66′), Ouss Cisse, Lee Angol, Conor Wilkinson, Danny Johnson (Jordan Maguire-Drew 70′) Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Joe Widdowson, Myles Judd, Harry Kyprianou, Jayden Sweeney.
Mansfield Town: Bobby Olejnik, Ryan Sweeney, Krystian Pearce, Kelland Watts, Joe Riley, Neal Bishop, Willem Tomlinson, Mal Benning (Harry Charsley 88′), CJ Hamilton, Danny Rose, Nicky Maynard Subs not used: Aidan Stone (GK), Matt Preston, Craig Davies, Jack Evans, James Clarke, Jimmy Knowles.
Referee: Josh Smith
Assistants: Gregory Read & Paul Kelly
Fourth Official: Kevin Howick.