Orient slip to a second league defeat as Stevenage take the points
League One: Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 1
A goal from Stevenage’s Lucas Akins midway through the first half condemned Orient to their second league defeat of the season at The Matchroom on Tuesday night.
The reverse leaves the O’s without a point from their first two games and it was only in the final 20 minutes that the home side found any semblance of form and put Stevenage under concerted pressure.
But it was too little, too late and Russell Slade’s men will be hoping for a change of fortune when they entertain Hartlepool on Saturday and look to open their points account.
Slade made two changes from the side that were beaten 3-1 at Tranmere last weekend.
Central defender Scott Cuthbert was ruled out with a hamstring injury and striker Kevin Lisbie was also on the treatment table.
So defender Ben Chorley and striker Michael Symes both came in for their first starts of the season in what proved to be a low-key first half where chances were few and far between.
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But it was the visitors who grabbed the lead on 24 minutes when the home side failed to clear a free-kick and Lucas Akins fired home from the edge of the area.
O’s struggled to find a response, but they did come close to a leveller on 32 minutes when Lloyd James crossed from the right and Symes headed the ball back across goal, but the effort drifted just over the bar.
Then, on the stroke of half time, Dean Cox fired in an effort from 16 yard that was deflected for a corner.
After the break O’s improved slightly and they might have had a penalty when Mathieu Baudry was blocked in the area.
Then David Mooney set up Symes on 61 minutes, but his drive from the edge of the area was saved by Chris Day in the visiting goal.
Slade made a change on 62 minutes when Moses Odubajo replaced Jimmy Smith and his pace and drive sparked the home side into life as they finally found some form.
As the game entered its final stages O’s stepped went close to a leveller on several occasions as Odubajo tormented the visitors.
But despite their late pressure O’s were unable to grab an equaliser despite skipper Nathan Clarke sending a header onto the top of the bar two minutes from time.
Leyton Orient: Jones 6, James 5, Chorley 7, Clarke 6, Sawyer 6; Baudry 6, Griffith 5, Smith 6 (Odubajo 62 mins), Cox 6; Symes 6, Mooney 5 (Obafemi 76 mins). Subs: Allsop, McSweeney, Laird, Lobjoit, Brunt.
Orient bookings: Griffith (23 mins foul), Sawyer (85 mins foul)
Stevenage: Day, Gray, Charles, Ashton, Grant, Dunne, Haber (Thalassitis 88 mins), Atkins, Roberts, Freeman (Morais 72 mins), Shroot. Subs: Arnold, Tansey, Furlonge, Ball, , N’Gala.
Stevenage bookings: Gray (63 mins foul)
Referee: Steve Rushton.
Attendance: 3,562 (inc 474 Stevenage fans)