Four straight wins as Lisbie double helps Orient overcome Pompey
League One: Portsmouth 2 Leyton Orient 3
Orient recorded their fourth straight win on a night of high drama at Fratton Park as veteran striker Kevin Lisbie paved the way with a double strike for the visitors.
Moses Odubajo was also on target on an evening when referee Graham Scott awarded three penalties – two for Portsmouth and one for the O’s and while Lisbie tucked away his spot kick, Izale McLeod could only convert one of his two attempts, as visiting keeper Ryan Allsop made an excellent save.
Orient have now scored nine times in their last three league games to well and truly end their goal drought.
A far cry from their recent run when they managed to score just once in seven league matches.
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O’s boss Russell Slade named an unchanged side following Saturday’s 4-1 win at Carlisle United and his team made most of the early running.
The visitors came within a whisker of taking a fourth-minute lead when Lee Cook delivered a wicked free-kick that flashed across the face of the goal and skidded wide of the far post.
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O’s playing a 4-4-2 formation continued to press and Martin Rowlands saw his shot from distance deflected for a corner and then Dean Cox had an effort blocked as the visitors forced five corners in the opening 20 minutes and 10 in the first half.
However, the home side, who had gone into the game without a goal in six matches, should have opened their account on 23 minutes when they were awarded a controversial penalty by referee Scott.
Visiting keeper Ryan Allsop was adjudged to have brought down Brian Howard, but McLeod’s spot kick, driven down the middle of the goal, was superbly saved by the O’s custodian.
Justice appeared to have been done and O’s broke away and almost took the lead when Lisbie fed Cook, but his effort was saved by Mikkel Andersen in the home goal.
With the rain pouring down Orient had another chance to take the lead when a corner bobbled around in the six-yard box and O’s skipper Nathan Clarke’s effort was saved by Andersen at point blank range.
The goal Orient had been threatening finally arrived on 32 minutes when a great ball from Cox set Lisbie free and he guided it past Andersen and into the net.
O’s continued to press and Clarke went close again when his header shaved a post after Cox delivered the cross.
The visitors could have equalled the four goals they netted against Carlisle in the first half as before the break Cox set Lloyd James up, but his shot from just outside the area was deflected over the bar.
But it did not take Orient long to stretch their advantage early in the second half as after 51 minutes Lisbie turned architect and Odubajo raced onto the striker’s flick and coolly finished from inside the box.
However, Portsmouth responded quickly and pulled a goal back on 57 minutes when they were awarded a second penalty after Clarke was adjudged to have fouled Paul Benson and this time McLeod made no mistake as he blasted home.
It was Pompey’s first goal in more than eight-and-a-half hours football, but their chances of salvaging something took a knock five minutes later when referee Scott pointed to the spot for a third time when.
This time Lisbie was fouled by Pompey substitute Ricardo Rocha and the Orient striker coolly rolled the ball into the net to give Orient a two-goal cushion.
But Pompey refused to throw in the towel and cut the deficit again on 65 minutes when Scott Allan raced clear and cut in from the left to score.
The home side sensed they might be able to stop a run of six straight defeats and finished strongly as they pressed for a leveller and Allsop came to Orient’s rescue when he tipped Allan’s well-struck effort over the bar.
Slade, who had already thrown Jimmy Smith on in place of Cox, tried to stiffen things up even more four minutes from time when Anthony Griffith replaced Cook.
But O’s held on as they survived five minutes of stoppage time and moved up to 13th place in the table to complete an excellent week on the road with wins against Gloucester City, Carlisle United and Portsmouth in the space of seven days.
Portsmouth: Andersen, Dumbuya, Harley, Howard, McLeod, Benson, Gyepes (Rocha 35 mins), Russell (Ertl 53 mins), Michalik, Allan, Mendez-Laing. Subs: Eastwood, Walker, Compton, Harris, Webster.
Leyton Orient: Allsop; Odubajo, Chorley, Clarke (Baudry 72 mins), Sawyer; Cox (Smith 77 mins), Rowlands, James, Cook (Griffith 86 mins); Lisbie, Mooney. Subs: Jones, McSweeney, Symes, Brunt.
Orient bookings: Clarke (22 mins), Cook (69 mins), Baudry (87 mins).
Referee: Graham Scott