Play-off hopes dashed for Orient after Colchester loss

Kevin Lisbie, Leyton Orient

Kevin Lisbie, Leyton Orient - Credit: EMPICS Sport

League One: Colchester United 2 Leyton Orient 1

Leyton Orient’s play-off hopes were extinguished as Colchester scored twice in the space of four first half minutes against the injury-hit O’s at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Romain Vincelot was in central defence alongside skipper Nathan Clarke for Russell Slade’s visitors but it was the home side which started on the front foot.

O’s spent much of the opening few moments on the back foot but the makeshift back four were only really tested by a Clinton Morrison shot which was deflected behind after seven minutes.

But just 10 minutes later and the hosts were in front when early substitute Bradley Garmston’s fine ball in from the left was met by the head of Gavin Massey at the back post.

And that lead was doubled after 24 minutes when Drey Wright applied the finish after the ball worked its way to him in the box and his deflected shot beat O’s goalkeeper Jamie Jones.

Slade’s side did come back into it towards the end of the half and Romain Vincelot saw a header saved by Sam Walker.

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They gave themselves a lifeline on 37 minutes when a ball over the top found Lisbie who beat the offside trap and coolly slotted past Walker to halve the deficit.

Leon McSweeney then fired wide of the target from Jimmy Smith’s cross as they ended the half on top

Orient started the second half the brighter of the two sides but failed to test Walker and it was former O’s player Jabo Ibehre who went close as he fired across goal but just wide of the target.

As time was ticking away the visitors had a great chance to level when half time substitute Shaun Batt was brought down by Garmston and the referee pointed to the spot with 13 minutes remaining.

But Lisbie’s spot-kick was saved by Walker and the rebounded cleared behind for a corner.

The former Colchester frontman then saw a glancing header fall wide of the target a minute later as Slade’s side pressed for an equaliser.

And with three minutes to go Walker almost spilled an effort into his own net when Cox’s corner in was headed goalwards by Clarke, but the keeper gathered at the second attempt and with that went Orient’s chances

Leyton Orient: Jones, Odubajo, Clarke, Vincelot, McSweeney, James (Batt 46), Rowlands, Smith, Cox, MacDonald (Obafemi 84), Lisbie.

Unused substitutes: Sawyer, Lee, Vanderhyde.

Attendance: 4704 (including 902 Leyton Orient fans)