Orient boss Slade says we have to stick together after Coventry defeat
League One: Leyton Orient 0 Coventry 1
Orient slipped to their third defeat in eight days when David McGoldrick’s seventh-minute strike settled this match on a bitterly cold afternoon at The Matchroom.
The decisive strike came following an error by home keeper Ryan Allsop and was enough to give Coventry their first win in four.
O’s had chances to get back into the game, but couldn’t take them and have now failed to score in their last three games.
After the game O’s boss Russell Slade said: “It’s a disappointed changing room and at times like this you have got to close ranks and stick together, you don’t want any blame mentality in your football club.
“It’s about trusting each other, trusting each other with the ball and keep trying to do the right things and the important thing was we created chances and although we didn’t put the ball in the net, we created chances and that was the important thing.”
Slade also defended young keeper Allsop: “He is honest enough, everyone knows he has made a mistake and that’s all it was. It was a simple mistake and he hasn’t made many this season, he has been in excellent form.”
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Slade made just two changes to the side that had lost 2-0 at home to Colchester United on Tuesday as Anthony Griffith and David Mooney came into the team and Leon McSweeney and Jimmy Smith dropped to the bench.
The O’s made a bright start and were knocking the ball around well until they were caught with a sucker punch after just seven minutes.
A tame shot from Coventry skipper Carl Baker from 20 yards was spilled by Allsop and McGoldrick could not believe his luck as he rounded the stricken keeper and planted the ball into an empty net.
The goal shook O’s, it took them a while to respond and it was 24 minutes before Martin Rowlands fired an effort from distance just over the bar.
Then the hard-working Mooney sent in a cross that Scott Wagstaff missed, but the ball fell invitingly for Dean Cox, who blasted it over the bar.
But it was the Sky Blues who should have stretched their advantage on 28 minutes when Ben Chorley was caught in possession, but Gary McSheffrey shot across the face of the goal and wide from 12 yards.
But O’s continued to try and find a route back into the game and should have levelled on 32 minutes when Wagstaff’s header was clawed from under the bar by visiting keeper Joe Murphy and it fell invitingly for Mooney, but he fired wide from six yards.
While Orient pressed hard, Coventry always looked dangerous on the break and in first-half stoppage time Allsop atoned for his earlier error with a smart stop from McSheffrey and Chorley blocked the follow-up effort from Baker.
Orient started second half on the front foot and Wagstaff almost headed his side level from Cox’s free-kick, but O’s continued to live dangerously as Coventry looked full of menace on the break.
The home side had a penalty shout waved away when Moses Odubajo went down too easily under a challenge from Jamie Reckord and O’s made their first change on 68 minutes when Lee Cook replaced Cox and shortly afterwards Michael Symes came on for Ryant Brunt, but O’s struggled to get up a head of steam.
However, they almost grabbed a leveller in the 90th minute when Mooney controlled Chorley’s long through ball and beat keeper Murphy, but saw his shot roll agonisingly wide of a post.
Then, in stoppage time, O’s skipper Nathan Clarke headed just over following a corner.
Orient: Allsop 5; *Odubajo 7, Clarke 6, Chorley 6, Sawyer 6; Wagstaff 6, Griffith 6, Rowlands 5, Cox 6 (Cook 68 mins); Mooney 6, Brunt 6 (Symes 73 mins). Subs: Jones, McSweeney, Baudry, Smith, James.
Orient bookings: Clarke (72 mins foul), Chorley (80 mins foul).
Coventry: Murphy, Baker, Fleck, McSheffrey (Moussa 73 mins), Jennings, Christie, Wood, Ejenguele, McGoldrick (Elliott 90 mins), Reckford, Bailey. Subs: Dunn, Clarke, McDonald, Willis, Henderson.
Coventry bookings: McGoldrick (71 mins dissent)
Attendance: 4,741 (inc 1,172 Coventry fans).
Referee: Tim Robinson.