Chorley and Cox strike as O’s storm back to victory
Second-half goals see O’s to victory and climb out of the bottom four
Full-time: Orient 2 Rochdale 1
Second half goals from Ben Chorley and Dean Cox saw Orient come from behind to claim a vital win and move out of the relegation zone.
After Chris O’Grady fired Rochdale ahead on the stroke of half-time, O’s hit back and Chorley cut the deficit early in the second half from the penalty spot, before Cox lashed home the winner on 67 minutes following a superb move.
It was an excellent comeback from Russell Slade’s side as the first half was a dismal affair as Orient struggled to get a real foothold in the game.
It was was former Orient loanee Nicky Adams who had the first real chance, but from 10 yards out he fired his effort into the arms of Orient keeper Lee Butcher, who retained his place in the side, despite fit-again Jamie Jones returning to the bench.
Orient reponded and Ryan Jarvis, making a rare start with Scott McLeish and Paul-Jose Mpoku both unfit, sent a header over the bar following a left-wing cross from Cox.
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Then Alex Revell might have done better, but headed over after Matthew Spring provided a defence-splitting ball into the danger area,
Ten minutes before the break Revell went close again with a header after Cox provided the cross from the left, but there were few highlights in a disappointing opening 45 minutes, where Rochdale dominated the possession, but O’s had more efforts on goal.
Just as it looked as if the first half would end goalless Rochdale struck through O’Grady.
Brian Barry-Murphy swund in a cross from the right and O’Grady got the wrong side of Eliot Omozusi and lashed the ball into the net from a tight angle and the subsequent half-time whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos from the home fans
Orient were handed a lifeline at the start of the second half with a soft penalty award. Dawson played the ball in from the left and winger Cox tangled with Adams and went down, on the edge of the area.
Referee Kevin Wright pointed to the spot and defender Ben Chorley stepped up and planted the ball neatly into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Orient made the first change of the afternoon, when James Walker replaced Ryan Jarvis, who had struggled to make much headway.
The O’s then grabbed the lead with a stunning strike, following a superb move.
Matt Spring swept the ball into the path of Dawson and the O’s skipper released Cox with a deft touch and he rifled the ball into the roof of the net from 16 yards. It was a great strike and out of context with much of what had gone before.
O’s suddenly had their tails up and Charlie Daniels almost added a third with a free-kick from 25 yards that flew inches over the bar.
Rochdale’s response was to make a triple substitution.
The move lifted the visitors and O’Grady went close with a volley 10 minutes from time and O’s boss Russell Slade responded by substituting Cox and strenghtening the midfield with a Adam Chambers and played Revell as a lone striker.
But it was O’s who almost added a third when Walker played Revell in and the striker’s shot was pushed away by Josh Willis in the visiting goal.
Despite five minutes of stoppage time O’s held on to move out of the bottom four.
Orient: Butcher, Omozusi, Chorley, Forbes, Daniels, Spring, Smith, Dawson, Cox (Chambers 80 mins), Revell (Tehoue 94 mins), Jarvis (Walker 60 mins). Subs: Jones, Whing, Brown, Cestor.
Attendance: 4,880 (inc 362 Rochdale fans)
Orient bookings: Forbes (77 mins unsporting behaviour).