Five-star Orient in super start
- Credit: Archant
League One: Carlisle 1 Leyton Orient 5
Russell Slade’s Orient got the new Sky Bet League One season off to a superb start with a stunning win in Cumbria.
But victory came at something of a cost after captain Nathan Clarke was stretchered off in the first half following a heavy challenge from Lee Miller, who was sent off.
O’s had celebrated a 4-1 win on their previous visit to Brunton Park in November 2012, when David Mooney (2), Ben Chorley and Lee Cook netted as all the goals came in the first half.
And they went one better this time as Kevin Lisbie, Scott Cuthbert, Mooney and Dean Cox (2) found the back of the net to ensure another happy trip home from the north east,
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The visitors had an early scare on four minutes when Cuthbert’s poor back header allowed Lewis Guy a chance and Jamie Jones came to his defender’s rescue with a great save.
O’s went close themselves at the other end soon after as Lloyd James curled a free-kick just past the post.
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And Mooney dragged a shot into the arms of keeper Mark Gillespie, who also pushed out Shaun Batt’s shot, before captain Clarke hit the woodwork from a James corner.
Orient broke the deadlock midway through the first half when a long throw-in from Clarke was headed home at the near post by veteran striker Lisbie.
But Carlisle forced a string of corners in response to falling behind, before being reduced to 10 men on the half hour mark when Miller was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Clarke, who was taken by ambulance to hospital.
Despite being rocked by the loss of their skipper, who was replaced by Elliot Omozusi, O’s doubled their lead on 37 minutes when Cuthbert headed home from a James corner.
The home side halved the deficit two minutes before the break when Mathieu Baudry was penalised for a challenge on Josh Gillies, for which he was booked, and David Amoo converted from the spot.
But O’s went close to restoring their two-goal advantage in the third of seven minutes injury time as Mooney’s half volley forced a diving save from Gillespie, while Romain Vincelot fired just wide from distance before an absorbing half finally came to an end.
The two sides returned to a lively atmosphere for the second half, with O’s having the wind at their backs, and Batt called Gillespie into action again from Gary Sawyer’s cross on 53 minutes.
But Carlisle’s Liam Noble curled an effort just wide soon after, as Amoo caused problems for the visiting defence, and the hosts kept pushing forward in search of an equaliser.
That left them vulnerable to a counter-attack and Moses Odubajo led one such raid for O’s, but was dispossessed as a 3-on-3 chance went to waste.
Mooney fired wide of the target after good work from Batt and Lisbie on 65 minutes and Slade sent Cox on for Batt moments later.
O’s took a 3-1 lead almost immediately as Odubajo produced an excellent run on the right flank and delivered a perfect cross for Mooney to head home.
And the goal knocked the stuffing out of Carlisle, who made a double change with 17 minutes remaining.
Orient substitute Cox who had the final say, though, pouncing on a loose ball and curling a fourth past Gillespie to match last year’s scoreline, before thumping a 25-yard drive in off the underside of the crossbar in injury time to complete a five-star display.
Carlisle: Gillespie, Livesey, Amoo, Noble, Miller, Gillies (Symington 73), Edwards, Potts, Berrett, James, Guy (Beck 73).
Subs not used: Thirlwell, Fleming, Salmon, Lynch, Brough.
Orient: Jones; Sawyer, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, James, Lisbie (Gorman 83), Mooney, Odubajo, Batt (Cox 69), Clarke (Omozusi 33).
Subs not used: Larkins, Lee, Vanderhyde, Bartley.
Referee: J Simpson.
Attendance: 4,951 (including 301 Orient fans).