Orient bounce back to stun leaders
- Credit: Archant
League One: Leyton Orient 2 Tranmere 1
Os bounced back from their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy disappointment in stunning style at the Matchroom Stadium.
Beaten by League Two side Southend in the first leg of their area final in midweek, Russell Slade’s men rebounded to beat table-topping Tranmere in front of a crowd of 4,351.
And the hosts could even afford to miss a penalty as they climbed to tenth in the League One table.
Charlie MacDonald returned to the Os starting line-up, having been cup-tied on Tuesday, as new signing Romain Vincelot had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench.
And MacDonald soon made his presence felt, heading home his first goal for the club from Dean Cox’s free-kick on nine minutes.
Os were given the chance to double their advantage on the quarter-hour mark when Trevor Kettle pointed to the spot after Cox was fouled by Ash Taylor.
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But Martin Rowlands saw his penalty well saved by Owain Fon Williams.
Tranmere struggled to seriously threaten Jamie Jones in the home goal, in the absence of suspended Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, who netted twice in his side’s 3-1 win over Os on the opening day of the season.
And Rowlands made amends for his first-half penalty miss midway through the second period, finding the back of the net with a fine shot from outside the box.
But Tranmere hit back on 74 minutes through Michael O’Halloran, who turned home a Danny Holmes cross, to set up a tense finale.
The 27-year-old Frenchman Vincelot, signed by Slade following his release from Brighton, replaced Rowlands with six minutes remaining to make his debut and David Mooney had a header disallowed for offside.
But Tranmere might have snatched an equaliser in injury-time, when Holmes saw his long-range attempt well saved by Jones.
Orient: Jones, Sawyer, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, MacDonald, Odubajo, Cook (Batt 77), Rowlands (Vincelot 84), James (Smith 66), Mooney
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Palmer, Robinson, McGurk (O’Halloran 70), Bakayogo, Stockton, Power, Amoo (Bell-Baggie 70), Daniels.