Slade: Orient did not create enough pressure against Gillingham
FA Cup: Leyton Orient 0 Gillingham 1
A goal from Curtis Weston on the stroke of half-time sent Orient crashing out of the FA Cup, as Gillingham claimed another League One scalp.
The Gills, who had beaten Bournemouth in the first round, triumphed again with a hard-working display, as Orient struggled to create a chance from start to finish.
Indeed, the closest the home side came was in the third minute of stoppage time when on-loan winger Lee Cook smashed an effort against the underside of the bar.
But there was to be no late heroics for the O’s, who had reached the fifth round of the competition last season.
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The all-important goal came when Charlie Lee sent a long throw into the Orient penalty area and Weston fired home from six yards.
After the game O’s boss Russell Slade admitted: “In the first half we seemed to play without energy to say the least.
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“In the second half we huffed and puffed but over 90 minutes we didn’t deserve to go through.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done and some soul-searching. We have got to get back to basics and start doing those things well.
“We have not created a lot today and we should have put them under more pressure.”
Orient were woeful in the first half as they coughed and spluttered their way through the opening half and it was the visitors who shaded the opening 45 minutes.
Lewis Montrose tried his luck from distance, before the Gills had the first of two penalty appeals turned down when Ben Chorley, back in the side after injury, saw Weston’s shot cannon off his arm.
The home side’s only effort of note in the first half came when Lee Cook’s free-kick from 22 yards ended up safely in keeper Ross Flitney’s arms.
Gillingham’s second penalty shout looked to be more clear cut on 37 minutes when Danny Kedwell sent a header against Chorley’s outstretched arm – but again referee Phillip Gibbs waved away their claims.
However, the visitors were rewarded on the stroke of half-time and deserved their lead at the break.
Orient boss Russell Slade threw Jamie Cureton and Terrell Forbes into the action at half-time in place of Marc Laird and Chorley, but the home still struggled to find their form.
Indeed, the visitors could have added a second on 56 minutes when keeper Ben Alnwick sliced a clearance straight to Kedwell, but the Gillingham striker hesitated and the home keeper redeemed himself with a smart save.
O’s gradually stepped up a gear and substitute Cureton had the ball in the net on 63 minutes after good work by skipper Stephen Dawson, but his effort was ruled offside.
As Orient became increasingly desperate and they pushed men forward, Gillingham threatened on the break and Weston went close again when he lobbed over five minutes.
But O’s almost salvaged the tie in the third minute of stoppage time when Cook crashed an effort against the bar
“When the luck’s with you they go in, but it wasn’t to be today,” said Slade.
Orient: Alnwick 6; Clarke 6, Chorley (Forbes 46 mins) 5, Cuthbert 6, McSweeney 7; Spring 6; Porter 5 (Mooney 79 mins), Dawson 6, Laird 5 (Cureton 46 mins), Cook 6, Lisbie 6. Subs: Butcher, Cestor, Smith, Lobjoit..
Referee: Phillip Gibbs
Attendance: 3763 (inc 1,400 Gillingham fans)