Leyton Orient crash to Huddersfield defeat as Jordan Rhodes stars
Leyton Orient 1 Huddersfield Town 3
Orient slumped to their 10th home defeat of the season after a double strike from Jordan Rhodes and an own goal from Jimmy Smith left the O’s looking anxiously over their shoulders.
The O’s remain five points off the drop zone with six games left to play and there could still be some nervous moments, although it all looked so bright for the home side after Matt Spring fired the them ahead after just 14 minutes.
But Orient always looked shaky from set pieces and an own goal from Smith and a strike by Rhodes on the stroke of half-time put the visitors in front.
Then, with Russell Slade’s side pushing forward for a late leveller, they were caught on the break as Rhodes wrapped things up with fine solo strike in the 90th minute.
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After the game O’s boss Slade admitted: “It just gets more frustrating. I thought we settled into the game better than what we did on Saturday.
“We took the initiative by getting the first goal, but couldn’t hang on to it for more than a few minutes.
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“The second half we were trying to take the game to them as best we could and they have caught us with a third late on.
“We have had more corners than them, we tried everything we could, but it wasn’t to be. The attitude was good. It’s just the goals we have conceded we poor and it’s hard to take.”
After a quiet opening period Orient could not have scripted a better start when they grabbed the lead on 14 minutes.
George Porter’s long throw was only half-cleared by the visiting defence and the ball fell invitingly for home skipper Matt Spring to fire past Alex Smithies from the edge of the area.
However, Orient could not hang on to their advantage for long and it took the visitors took just two minutes to draw level when leading scorer Rhodes showed his predatory instincts following Danny Ward’s corner.
As the ball bobbled around in the six-yard box, Rhodes tried a clever back-heel that O’s midfielder Smith, on his own goal-line, could only divert into his own net.
Both sides cancelled each other out in open play, but it was Huddersfield who were looking dangerous from corners and they almost took the lead on the half-hour from another Ward delivery.
This time Town skipper Peter Clarke rose above everyone, but his header from six yards was cleared off the line by Spring.
It looked as if Orient would reach the interval on level terms, but once again they were undone from a set piece when Sean Morrison’s long throw caused havoc in the home penalty area and Rhodes reacted first to stab home his 36th goal of the season from close range.
Rhodes could have added to his ever-increasing tally on 57 minutes, but he headed over Diego Arismendi’s right-wing cross.
As the game entered its final phase the home side pushed forward in search of an equaliser and substitute Kevin Lisbie headed just over the bar.
Then Spring saw a goal-bound shot deflected wide by Morrison as O’s found some momentum.
But Huddersfield survived and in the 90th minute Rhodes wrapped things up with a fine solo effort, with his 37th goal of the season to ensure a nervous finale to the season for Slade’s side.
Leyton Orient: Rachubka; Forbes, Chorley, Leacock, Dickson; Porter, Smith, Spring, Laird (Lisbie 57 mins), Cox; Mooney (Andrew 83 mins). Subs: Ben Youssef, Reed, Taiwo.
Orient bookings: Smith (31 mins foul)
Huddersfield Town: Smithies; Hunt (Woods 46 mins), Morrison, P Clarke, T Clarke; Novak (Arfield 46 mins), Arismendi, Kay, Ward; Lee (Cadamarteri 78 mins), Rhodes. Subs: Bennett, Roberts.
Town bookings: Hunt (33 mins foul), Lee (42 mins foul),
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 3,674 (inc 603 away fans)