Orient crushed as Carlisle pile on the misery

Cureton’s first goal is scant consolation

Carlisle United 4 Leyton Orient 1

Three first-half goals sent Orient crashing to defeat as Carlisle United moved into the top six and completed a league double over Russell Slade’s side

The writing was on the wall after just 53 seconds when Francois Zoko put the home side ahead and before the break Matthew Robson and Tom Taiwo added to Orient’s misery.

James Berrett struck a fourth in the second half, before the only crumb of comfort for Slade’s side was a consolation strike by Jamie Cureton five minutes from time, as the veteran striker finally opened his goal account for the club.

Boss Slade made just one change to the side that had triumphed at Stevenage on Monday, as Kevin Lisbie was restored to the starting line up, with Ben Chorley missing out as he started a three-game ban.

But the O’s boss was forced into a reshuffled after just 20 minutes when skipper Stephen Dawson limped out of the action with an ankle injury after being caught by Jon-Paul McGovern five minutes earlier and was replaced by Jimmy Smith.

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However, Orient were already a goal down by then as they could not have scripted a worse possible start

Carlisle United, unbeaten in their last seven home games, grabbed the lead in the first minute when Zoko beat Terrell Forbes and then fired past Lee Butcher in the visiting goal as Orient found themselves firmly on the back foot.

The home side almost added a second on six minutes when Butcher saved from Tom Taiwo.

Orient took time to settle after such a devastating early blow and it was loan signing Lee Cook who came close to levelling things up on 14 minutes when he fired an effort over the bar from just outside the box.

But Carlisle took a vice-like grip on the game with a second goal on 30 minutes when Scott Cuthbert was penalised for a handball and from the free-kick Carlisle defender Robson saw his effort deflect off the Orient wall and bobble into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, leaving Butcher wrong-footed.

Worse was to follow for the visitors, who had only lost one of their last nine away games in the league, when Carlisle struck a third on 37 minutes.

Taiwo was the marksman with an effort from outside the area that looped over Butcher and into the top corner of the net after the visitors half-cleared a corner.

O’s tried to hit back and Marc Laird fired in a couple of long-range efforts, while David Mooney could have cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time, but fired wide.

Then home keeper Adam Collin saved well from a Cook free-kick, but it was too little too late as Carlisle finished the half three goals to the good.

Just after the hour Dean Cox was thrown into the action in place of Laird as O’s desperately looked for a way back in the game.

But it was Carlisle who added a fourth goal on 73 minutes when Berrett struck to complete the misery for the visitors following a fine solo run and shot.

Cureton replaced Mooney for the last 13 minutes and Lisbie went close to grabbing a consolation nine minutes from time, but was denied by home keeper Collin.

However, the visitors were rewarded on 85 minutes when Cureton headed home a free-kick from Cox to finally end his goal famine – but it was scant consolation for Slade’s side, who faced the long journey home well and truly beaten.

Carlisle United: Collin, Simek, Robson, Murphy, Michalik, McGovern, Thirwell, Taiwo (Chantler), Berrett (Madden 82 mins), Zoko, Miller. Subs: Gillespie, Livesey, Welsh.

Carlisle bookings: McGovern (14 mins unsporting behaviour), Murphy (93 mins foul)

Orient: Butcher, McSweeney, Cuthbert, Forbes, Chicksen, Laird (Cox 62 mins), Spring, Dawson (Smith 20mins), Cook, Lisbie, Mooney (Cureton 77 mins). Subs: Cestor, Porter

Orient bookings: Cuthbert (30 mins dissent)

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 4,964.