Colchester defy the odds to overcome Leyton Orient
- Credit: Archant
League One: Leyton Orient 0 Colchester United 2
Second half goals from Sanchez Watt and Freddie Sears saw the 10 men of Colchester United emerge victorious against a disappointing Leyton Orient.
Magnus Okuonghae was shown a straight red on the stroke of half time, but the U’s profited on the counter attack as Watt and Sears found the net to see Colchester boss Tony Humes pick up his first win since taking over the helm from Joey Dunne.
The first real chance came from the visitors with three minutes on the clock when Freddie Sears shot well over from 25 yards, but other than that the half was devoid of action.
A plethora of bookings followed as the game was struggling to get going, though O’s new loan signing Michael Petrasso was looking lively down the right hand side as Colchester gave away plenty of free-kicks.
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But the O’s couldn’t make the most of them and it was skipper Nathan Clarke’s delivery that caused the biggest problem of the match when his deep ball in found David Mooney but his shot was deflected and Colchester cleared.
That was the catalyst for a period of dominance from the hosts as Okuonghae’s mis-kick allowed Darius Henderson to nip in.
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U’s goalkeeper Sam Walker got the slightest of touches to divert it out to Dagnall before pushing his shot over the bar.
O’s were on top now and a teasing ball in from Scott Cuthbert found the head of Dagnall but his glancing header went inches over the bar.
But then came the talking point of the match as Okuonghae’s late, two-footed tackle on former U’s loanee Mooney saw referee Keith Stroud pull out a red card on the stroke of half time.
There was still time for the O’s to mount a late push in the half as Henderson nodded Petrasso’s cross back across goal but Walker was out to deny the hosts with Dagnall ready to pounce.
Many would expect Russell Slade’s side to go on and dominate, but that wasn’t the case and Colchester looked the more threatening despite their numerical disadvantage.
Henderson flashed an early second period over, before the U’s looked a threat on the counter attack.
Woods did well to tip over a Watt shot after some clumsy defending from the hosts.
And the visitors would go in front, when the Daggers conceded possession from their own corner, and Colchester broke away.
Sears threaded a ball through for Watt who ran through on goal and the former Arsenal man slotted low past the onrushing Woods.
O’s hadn’t forced U’s goalkeeper Walker into too many saves, but he did well to keep out Lowry’s header from one of several second half corners for the hosts.
Dagnall fired just over from 20 yards, but Sears should have profited for some poor defending from Baudry, but Woods was there again to save the hosts.
However, the Frenchman made another error 18 minutes from time when trying to shepherd the ball out of play for the corner.
Sears nicked possession and he drfited inside before making no mistake when shooting low past Woods.
Orient tried in vain to get a way back into the match, but Walker denied Henderson after a neat first touch from the striker and everything else the hosts tried summed up their lack of luck.
Jay Simpson took one touch too many and his shot was blocked behind, while hopeful balls into the box were negated by the stubborn U’s defence as Orient’s wait for a first home win goes on.
Leyton Orient: Woods, Cuthbert (Simpson 82), Baudry, Clarke, Lowry; Pritchard, Bartley (Cox 65), Petrasso (McAnuff 69); Dagnall, Henderson, Mooney.
Unused substitutes: Omozusi, Batt, Lee, Grainger.
Colchester United: Walker, Clohessy, Okuonghae, Eastman, Gordon; Gilbey, Moncur (Vose 80), Szmodics (Kent 45); Massey, Watt (Eastmond 74), Sears
Unused substitutes: Lewington, Wright, Lawrence, Bonne.
Attendance: 5,313 (711 away)