Leyton Orient 2-0 Southend United
Leyton Orient handed rejuvenated Southend United a reality check while taking a small step towards invigorating their own Sky Bet League Two play-off ambitions at a chilly Breyer Group Stadium.
Orient took the bull by its horns and largely dominated their local rivals. After a scoreless opening period, O’s skipper, Jobi McAnuff broke the deadlock with a superb dead-ball effort – this after Timothee Dieng had impeded Conor Wilkinson.
And it was Wilkinson who sealed the deal for the East Londoners, neatly lifting the ball over Mark Oxley after McAnuff had turned provider.
The results ended a run of three straight defeats for the O’s and moved them back within a point of the top seven. Meanwhile, unbeaten in their previous five – Southend’s frustration was compounded further as they slipped back to the bottom of the table, four points from safety following Stevenage’s single-goal success over Cambridge United earlier in the evening.
Blues boss, Mark Molesley offered a reasoned response, explaining: “It’s a disappointing one that we’re going to have to take on the chin and make sure we learn from and learn quickly. The group has been on an upward trend and we’ve got to make sure this is only a blip and learn the lessons quickly.
“You treat each game in isolation. We genuinely believe that we can win every game that we play and we prepare to win every game we play. It’s a disappointing one tonight because we’ve fallen short, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up quickly and remember what’s been going well and fix what’s needed to be fixed tonight.
“We made a couple of tactical changes second-half which I felt could try and impact it a little bit better but unfortunately we conceded a second goal at a cruel time. It was avoidable from our point of view, which is disappointing, but maybe we got what we deserved tonight because we didn’t quite reach where we needed to be.”
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Cisse, Happe, McAnuff (Capt) (Kyprianou 85’), Clay (Dayton 90+4’), Wilkinson, Brophy, Akinola, Angol, Johnson (Sotiriou 90+2’). Subs not used: Widdowson, Coulson, Maguire-Drew
Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Hobson, Olayinka (Halford 79’), Dieng, Akinola, Egbri, Nathaniel-George (Walsh 69’), Demetriou, Hart, White (Capt) (R Taylor 69’). Subs not used: Seaden (GK), Howard, Phillips, Acquah