Orient boss praises players as they make it five straight wins
League One: Leyton Orient 2 Preston North End 0
Goals from Mathieu Baudry just before half time and a second half strike from Kevin Lisbie were enough for Orient to record their fifth straight win and end Preston’s seven-match uneaten run.
There was drama all the way at a rain-soaked Brisbane Road, as O’s had to defend for all they were worth at times – but they stuck to their task and despite eight minutes of stoppage time they finished victorious.
There were plenty of heroes for the O’s, with Ryan Allsop, Baudry and Lisbie all outstanding as they turned in an excellent performance.
“It as a real battle right to the death and we claimed all the spoils which was the most important thing,” said Orient boss Russell Slade afterwards.
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And the O’s chief was delighted with the fighting spirit shown by the players: “They dug deep throughout the entire game,” he said
“Preston came at us for 15 minutes and Ryan Allsop made two fantastic saves.
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“But we kept defending and we kept putting our bodies on the line and we were always a threat in the second half and we had the advantage of that two-goal cushion.
“There are players running into form and when you get five, six or seven players running into form you give yourself a marvellous chance of winning the game.
“That’s a good side we have played today make mo mistake about that. Preston have invested in their squad and they will not be far away. They are a tough nut to crack.”
Slade made just one change to the side that had beaten Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Skipper Nathan Clarke failed to shake off an ankle injury, so Baudry came into the starting 11, as Ben Chorley took the captain’s armband.
Orient made a bright start on a sodden surface, but it was Preston who created the first real chance when Todd Kane surged down the right and forced Allsop into a smart save.
Both sides looked to try and play football and O’s had a penalty shout on 20 minutes when Dean Cox whipped in a cross from the right and David Mooney’s header looked to have been blocked by a hand.
The O’s did have the ball in the back of the net on 28 minutes when Lee Cook’s free-kick was flicked on by Chorley and Mooney swept it home, only to see the effort ruled out for offside.
As the game started to come to the boil Preston pair Stuart Beavon and Chris Robertson were both booked for fouls.
O’s grabbed the lead on 43 minutes when the visitors, who had been pressing, failed to clear a corner and when Cox whipped the ball in from the right Baudry marked his return to the side with a powerful header into the corner of the net past the despairing dive of Steve Simonsen.
After the break Orient snatched an all-important second when Martin Rowlands found Mooney, who dribbled into the area and as he tried to engineer a shooting opportunity the ball rolled into the path of Lisbie who bagged his sixth goal of the season.
That goal also signalled a change of referee when Andy Davies was replaced by the fourth official Michael Blackledge.
Stung by the reverse, Preston pressed hard to get back into the game and Allsop made another good save from Kane to preserve their two-goal cushion.
The visitors piled on the pressure, but the O’s defended magnificently as the home goal led a charmed life.
In an amazing scramble on 84 minutes the home side were saved when Akpo Sodje’s header came back off a post, then Rowlands cleared off the line and Allsop made a stunning stop.
But O’s stood firm despite eight minutes of stoppage time continue their charge up the table
Leyton Orient: Allsop 8, Odubajo 7, *Baudry 8, Chorley 8, Sawyer 8; Cox 7, Rowlands 7, James 8, Cook 7 (Griffith 71 mins), Lisbie 8, Mooney 7 (Mooney 86 mins). Subs: Jones, McSweeney, Cuthbert, J Smith, A. Smith.
Orient bookings: Sawyer (57 mins foul)
Preston North End: Simonsen, Huntingdon, Robertson, Wroe, Holmes, Kane, Buchanan, Welsh, King (Sodje 69 mins), Wright (Cummins 59 mins), Beavon (Elding 80 mins). Subs: Stuckmann, Cansdell-Sherriff, Amoo, Byrom,
Preston bookings: Beavon (33 mins foul), Robertson (35 mins foul), Huntington (85 mins foul)
Referee: Andy Davies (Michael Blackledge 62 mins)
Attendance: 4,190 (inc 875 Preston fans)