Cook on the boil as Orient upset the odds at Swindon
League One: Swindon Town 0 Leyton Orient 1
Lee Cook fired home a 59th minute winner as Leyton Orient defied the odds and pulled off a shock win at promotion-chasing Swindon Town.
It was no more than the visitors deserved as they dominated the first half, but frittered away two excellent chances and then, after Cook put the visitors ahead, O’s had to endure six minutes of stoppage time before they finally picked up their first points of the season.
The win also ended Swindon’s long unbeaten home record of 29 games that stretched back to August last year and eased he pressure on boss Russell Slade, as the victory also lifted the O’s out of the bottom four.
Slade made just one change to the side that had lost to Crawley Town last weekend, with striker Kevin Lisbie restored to the starting line-up with Moses Odubajo dropping to the bench
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And the O’s chief would have been pleased with the way his side started in a 4-4-2 formation with Dean Cox switching flanks to play wide on the right and Lee Cook operating on the left.
The former QPR man caused all sorts of problems for high-flying Swindon in the opening 45 minutes as the game followed an identical pattern to the encounter at Crawley last weekend. The vistors looked the better side, played some neat football, but failed to convert the chances when they came.
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O’s dominated the early stages without causing the Swindon defence too many problems and although the home side had a little flurry midway through the first half, the visitors could have taken the lead on 25 minutes when Lisbie set up Cox, but the midfield man dragged his shot wide of the post then, a minute later, Cooke found space down the left and picked out Michael Symes, but he failed to test keeper Wes Foderingham.
The Orient striker had another chance 12 minutes before the break when the same two players combined. But this time the former Bournemouth striker failed to get a good connection and O’s were almost made to pay when the home side broke away, but Ben Chorley headed away Alan McCormack’s shot.
However, it was the visitors who had the best chance of the half seven minutes before the break when Cook was the architect once more with a great delivery and last season’s top scorer Lisbie wasted a wonderful opportunity to open his account for the season when he glanced his header just wide from close range.
After the break it was Swindon who started well and on 52 minutes Matt Ritchie’s effort brought a regulation save from Ryan Allsop in the visiting goal.
But then the O’s made the all-important breakthrough and grabbed the lead just before the hour. Leon McSweeney burst down the right and provided the perfect cross for Cox to touch on and Cook, lurking at the far post, fired into the roof of the net, Orient’s first goal in open play this season. It was only the second goal Swindon had conceded at the County Ground in their last 17 games.
Orient’s lead was almost short-lived as Swindon substitute Adam Rooney, who had replaced James Collins just seconds earlier, raced clear of Chorley, but dragged his shot wide of Allsop.
But the O’s were in no mood to let their advantage slip and Cox almost added a second for the visitors when his free-kick from 25 yards brushed the top of the bar.
With time running out and O’s desperate to hang on for their first league win of the season, Swindon gave them a scare on 83 minutes when Joe Devera found space in the visiting penalty area, but fired into the side netting.
After negotiating the 90 minutes successfully, referee Dean Mohareb decreed their should be a further six minutes of stoppage time, but O’s survived without any major scares and fully deserved their against-the-odds win.
Swindon: Foderingham, Flint, Devera, Bessone, Navarro (Ferry 51 mins), Ritchie, McCormack, Miller, Collins (Rooney 65 mins), Williams (Benson 76 mins), De Vita. Subs: Bedwell, McEveley, Ward, Bostock.
Orient: Allsop, McSweeney, Chorley, Clarke, Sawyer, Cox, Griffith, Rowlands, Cook (Odubajo 87 mins), Lisbie, Symes (Brunt 80 mins). Subs:Grainger, Baudry, Smith, Laird, Obafemi.
Orient bookings: Chorley (57 mins foul), Lisbie (67 mins foul)
Referee: Dean Mohareb (Cheshire)