Slade buzzing as O’s sink Southend in shoot-out
Ten-men Orient go through as boss gets his ‘scrappers’ back
Southend 1 Orient 1
(O’s won 4-3 on pens)
Orient boss Russell Slade admitted he was ‘buzzing’ after Tuesday night’s Carling Cup win over Southend.
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O’s had to play for the last 30 minutes and all of extra-time with just 10 men after Jonathan Tehoue saw red, before they overcame Southend 4-3 on penalties.
Slade’s side were given an early boost when Michael Richardson celebrated his first full start in style.
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The midfielder, on loan from Newcastle, ghosted in to head home Alex Revell’s cross to give O’s the lead on 23 minutes.
But the visitors, who were tested by Southend’s aerial power, saw their advantage slip nine minutes later when Ryan Hall’s free-kick was headed home by Mark Phillips.
The complexion of the game changed when Tehoue saw red, but O’s stubbornly refused to surrender and held on to force a penalty shoot-out.
Southend’s first penalty from Liam Dickinson was saved by Lee Butcher and he then denied Jean-Paul Kalala to put O’s in control.
Elliot Omozusi, Charlie Daniels and Ben Chorley all netted in style and although Richardson missed an opportunity to win the tie, Jamie Cureton made no mistake with the final spot-kick.
After the game Slade said: “I loved every single minute of it.
“The key point was the sending off. It sent us down to 10 men and we had to dig in.
“But that was just what I wanted, to get my scrappers back so early in the season and to learn how to try and stay in the game and then to earn the right to go through to the second round by digging so deep.
“We had players out, we were down to 10 men and had our backs-against-the-wall, but we never gave in and we kept scrapping all the way to a man.”
Slade was also delighted for young keeper Butcher and believes his performance will only aid his progression as he looks set for a run in the side in place of the injured Jamie Jones.
“He was outstanding tonight and that would have done him no harm at all in terms of confidence,” said Slade.
“He pulled off some great saves, his handling was sound and his penalty saves capped off a great night for us.”
Butcher added: “It’s great, obviously we’re not expected to save the penalties.
“But to save two and maybe I should have saved a third, I’m quite happy with myself. It’s always good to save the first one.”
It was Orient’s first shoot-out success in five attempts and Butcher admitted the team had been practising.
“We did penalties yesterday and I saved one out of God knows how many,” he smiled.
“I didn’t even get close to any of the others. But I did score one myself.”