Shootout heartache for brave O’s

Leyton Orient v Queen’s Park Rangers – Carabao Cup – Breyer Group Stadium – Report

Leyton Orient 1-1 Queen’s Park Rangers
(Queen’s Park Rangers won 5-3 on penalties)

Gallant Leyton Orient suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak, on Wednesday night, after their Championship visitors were lucky to hold their lower division hosts, in normal time.

Seemingly cruising to a comfortable win, courtesy of Rob Dickie’s first-half header, a storming second-half Orient display period saw summer signing Aaron Drinan level.

Rangers’ early pressure had finally paid off, when Dickie reacted quickest to Faysal Bettache’s fifteenth-minute corner, with a close-range bullet header.

This was after Albert Adomah and Osman Kakay had wasted excellent chances, as the East Londoners – two divisions below in the EFL pyramid – were threatening to get overrun.

But, it was the O’s – in their first home game under new boss, Kenny Jackett’s reign – with Dan Kemp pulling the midfield strings – who ended the opening period on the front foot, with Drinan and Dan Happe lacking composure, fluffing presentable close-range opportunities.

The O’s kept up the pressure after the turnaround, and the more complacent Rangers became – inviting pressure – Jackett’s men then got their deserved equaliser.

Seconds after Happe had wasted another excellent chance from an in-swinging Kemp flag-kick, Drinan levelled with a fine, 74th-minute finish.
Going for the kill, and with Rangers well and truly rattled, Omar Beckles saw his 80th-minute drive somehow punched by Jordan Archer onto the bar.

Ending normal time in the ascendancy, a clean-through wide man, Theo Archibald was unfortunate not to find an unmarked Drinnan.

Rangers then held on, in a barnstorming finish, with Adomah hitting the winning spot-kick, after Orient’s Ruel Sotiriou capped an otherwise faultless display, crashing his kick against the underside of the bar.

Jackett admitted: “We couldn’t quite take our chances – maybe we needed that little bit of confidence. But, I’m proud of the lads.”

He added: “First half we were a little bit tentative and nervous, particularly on the ball. When we settled down and played the right pass at the right time we started to give them problems.

“We were unlucky with the amount of chances we created not to get more goals.”

The O’s entertain Exeter City this Saturday (3pm) – Jackett concluded: “We have to build on tonight’s performance – although it will be a different game, at League Two level.”

Meanwhile, Rangers’ boss, Mark Warburton said: “We didn’t deserve to win. We should’ve been out of sight in the first 25 minutes. We’ve got to maintain that intensity for the whole game.”

Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Tom James, Omar Beckles, Dan Happe, Connor Wood, Dan Kemp, Hector Kyprianou, Darren Pratley (Capt), Theo Archibald, Ruel Sotiriou Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Craig Clay, Matt Young, Jayden Sweeney, Shad Ogie, Zach Oviedo, Jephte Tanga

Queen’s Park Rangers: Jordan Archer, Rob Dickie, Voann Barbet (Charlie Kelman 60′), Jimmy Dunne, Osman Kakay, George Thomas, André Dozzell, Lee Wallace (Capt) (Moses Odubajo 46′), Faysal Bettache (Dominic Ball 83′), Lyndon Dykes, Albert Adomah Subs not used: Joe Walsh (GK), Chris Willock, Conor Masterton, Stephen Duke-McKenna

Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistants: Joseph Stokes and Nicholas Cooper
Fourth Official: Sam Purkiss.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]