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Robin Cottle at Brisbane Road
Saturday, March 15, 2014
League One: Leyton Orient 0 Brentford 1
Marcello Trotta’s winner for 10-man Brentford on the stroke of half-time dealt Orient’s automatic promotion hopes a blow in the lunchtime kick-off at Brisbane Road.
The Italian fired into the bottom corner out of the reach of Eldin Jakupovic to clinch the three points and leapfrog their London rivals into second.
Bees defender James Tarkowski was sent off early in the second half, picking up a second booking for fouling Romain Vincelot.
But the O’s could not find a way back into the game and slip to third in League One. Vincelot recovered from a foot injury to start but the match came too soon for fellow Frenchman Mathieu Baudry, who is out with a hamstring strain.
Kevin Lisbie comes in for Chris Dagnall in the only change from the starting line-up from the win at Port Vale on Tuesday night.
For Brentford Adam Forshaw came in for Jake Reeves and Trotta replaced Will Grigg.
Orient could count themselves unfortunate to be trailing at half-time after having the better of the opening 45 minutes.
Cox was a constant presence in the first half, firing just wide from 30 yards and bringing a save out of David Button from the edge of the box.
And David Mooney tried to chip Button from 20 yards when he might have been better going for power.
But Brentford looked a threat on the break. Clayton Donaldson brought a save out of Jakupovic as he raced onto a through ball and Alan Judge fired over before Trotta’s sucker-punch.
The game had a bit of needle throughout – Gary Sawyer and Donaldson were booked following a scuffle just before the break – so perhaps it was not a surprise that the game did not finish with its full compliment of players as Tarkowski received his marching orders.
But the O’s struggled to break down their depleted visitors and Alan Judge almost sealed the win in stoppage time but hit the post after a quick break.
Alan McCormack twice cleared off the line after a goalmouth scramble, Lisbie fired over and Moses Odubajo brought a wonderful save out of Button with a low shot.
Russell Slade brought on Shaun Batt – who scored in the O’s 2-0 win at Griffin Park in September – and Dagnall but they could not alter the course of the game.
Cox curled wide and both teams had decent penalty shouts turned down but Orient lost their fifth League One home game of the season.
Orient: Jakupovic; Omozusi, Cuthbert, Clarke, Sawyer (Batt 70); Odubajo, Vincelot, James (Bartley 88), Cox; Mooney, Lisbie (Dagnall 75). Substitutes not used: Larkins, Ness, Simpson, Lasimant.