Mooney opens his account as Orient sink City with two late goals
FA Cup: Gloucester City 0 Leyton Orient 2
Two goals in the last three minutes from David Mooney and Dean Cox saw Orient edge Gloucester City out of the FA Cup on Wednesday night at Cheltenham Town.
The victory earned Russell Slade’s side a place in the second round and they now face a trip to Blue Square Bet outfit Alfreton Town.
After the first game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, O’s finally made it through, but they had to survive a nervy start before Mooney, who has played well in recent games without opening his goal account, made the all important breakthrough.
He broke Gloucester’s hearts when he headed home on 87 minutes before Cox raced through and wrapped things up 60 seconds later.
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Slade made four changes to the side that had beaten Shrewsbury Town 2-1 at the weekend with Mathieu Baudry, Dean Cox, Anthony Griffith and Ryan Brunt replacing Ben Chorley, Martin Rowlands, Lee Cook and Kevin Lisbie respectively.
But it was the non-league side that were quick out of the traps and piled on the early pressure forcing three corners in quick succession and they came within a whisker of taking the lead, but Gary Sawyer was in the right place at the right time and smuggled a shot from Darren Edwards off the line.
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As the Blue Square Bet North side continued to make the running, Jack Harris cut out a pass from Lloyd James, again playing in the centre of midfield, and charged towards goal, but dragged his shot wide.
But Orient gradually fought their way back into the contest and on 16 minutes skipper Nathan Clarke’s long throw was only half cleared and Cox latched onto the ball but fired wide.
The longer the half progressed the more the O’s started to take a grip and on 20 minutes Brunt saw an effort blocked after Cox’s corner caused problems in the home defence.
The Orient striker went close again when Mooney flicked on a Cox cross, but Brunt’s effort flew inches wide.
Slade’s side continued to press and had a couple of good chances just before the break. First Griffith flicked the ball into the path of Cox, but his shot was well saved by Mike Green in the home goal.
Then, 60 seconds later, Brunt went close again when his header thudded against the post before strike partner Mooney’s long-range lob was pushed over the bar by Green as Orient, who started the half on the back foot, ended it in the driving seat.
The second half started slowly and Slade made his intentions clear to try and win the game at the first attempt when he threw Lisbie into the action for the final 29 minutes.
But just as it looked as if Gloucester City might take the game to a replay Orient struck three minutes from time when James sent over a cross from the right and Mooney’s header dropped neatly into the bottom corner of the net.
And O’s made the game safe, as straight from the kick-off Cox cashed in on some more poor defensive work to race clear and slide the ball home, much to the delight of the 163 travelling fans.
O’s had survived a banana skin tie and now move on to play Blue Square Bet side Alfreton Town in the second round.
Gloucester City: M Green Green, Holland, Coupe, Hamblin, Harris (Tillson 89 mins), Webb, Hogg, Goddard (Davies 59 mins), Edwards, Harding (Morford 54 mins). Subs: Liddiard, Rawlings, Mann, Mustoe
Gloucester: Hogg (48 mins foul)
Leyton Orient: Allsop; Odubajo (McSweeney (57 mins), Baudry, Clarke, Saywer; Griffith, Smith (Rowlands 87 mins), James, Cox; Brunt (Lisbie 61 mins), Mooney. Subs: Jones, Chorley, Symes, Cook.
Attendance: 1,381 (including 163 fans)
Referee: Steve Rushton