Leyton Orient 2-1 Mansfield Town – Reaction
LEYTON ORIENT all but secured their Football League status but Peter Kitchen insisted the hard work has only just begun at the Breyer Group Stadium.
James Dayton handed Orient the lead on the stroke of half-time, but despite seeing plenty of the ball, the east Londoners initially failed to capitalise, allowing visitors, Mansfield Town, a way back into the game when Kelland Watts nodded the Stags level on the hour.
But Ross Embleton’s men were to rubberstamp their ninth Sky Bet League Two victory of the season. Mal Benning turned a delicious centre from Jordan Maguire-Drew into his own net to move the O’s sixteen points clear of the dropzone.
“We can play out the season with a bit of freedom now, and we must use it wisely,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“We were the better side last night, but it wasn’t as comfortable as perhaps it should have been. Orient currently seem to get bits and pieces right – which is a positive – but we must now start working towards producing the full package.
“Of course, we have won – it doesn’t get any better than picking up the three points. But the challenge now is to find consistency and start dominating, just as we did during the National League title-winning season. We need to rediscover that formula if we are to mount a promotion push next season.”
Kitchen continued: “We kept the ball well last night which is a good sign. If you are dominating possession, it suggests the players all want the ball and have a bit of confidence. We now need to be more ruthless with it going forward, although we have managed to win a match with only three shots on target.
“Orient are now as close to the play-off places as they are the relegation zone. We have a decent opportunity to get things right and put down a marker for next season. Minds mustn’t be on the beach, that’s for sure!
“The aim for Ross and the team must now be a top-half finish to the season. However, the owners are ambitious people. Even if that is achieved, I’d expect the squad to be strengthened during the summer, giving us the best possible opportunity to get this club into League One.”