Slade unhappy as Wordsworth and Henderson strike for Colchester
Leyton Orient 0 Colchester United 2
Goals from Colchester skipper Anthony Wordsworth in the first half and Ian Henderson just after the break condemned Orient to their fourth home defeat of the season.
Both sides had chances in the first half, but it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous with some composed football and just about deserved their interval lead before crushing Orient’s comeback hopes with a second just after the break.
But Orient boss Russell Slade insisted Scott Wagstaff’s strike, ruled out for offside 16 minutes from time, should have stood and backed up his claim with video evidence.
“I thought we created the three best chances of the evening,” he said.
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“Brunt in the first period, the opportunity that was denied and taken away from us, the offside, which was a goal and Dave Mooney should have done a lot better from a header.
“Dave’s come on and done really well, but he should have buried the header. They were three wonderful opportunities that we have had and there were others against a strong Colchester side who have played well.”
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Slade made just one change to the side that had lost 2-0 at Oldham on Saturday.
Dean Cox returned to the starting 11 in place Anthony Griffith who dropped to the bench, while Colchester included former O’s favourite Jabo Ibehre in their side.
With Slade looking to add more creativity, as well as Cox and Moses Odubajo in the starting 11, there was also a place for Lee Cook on the bench, fit again following a virus.
O’s started with Cox playing just behind Wagstaff and Ryan Brunt and a midfield three of Moses Odubajo, Martin Rowlands and Jimmy Smith and both sides had chances in an entertaining first half.
Ryan Allsop made a smart save from Brian Wilson on 14 minutes, but as a lively game switched from end to end the O’s had two good chances in the space of 60 seconds.
First Cox crossed from the right and Brunt blasted over from six yards. Then Wagstaff had an effort well saved by Mark Cousins after bursting down the left.
After Rowlands drove a free-kick wide and Wagstaff was denied once again by the keeper it was Colchester who grabbed the lead on 33 minutes with a goal of real quality.
Gavin Massey was the architect down the left and he fed the perfect ball in for Wordsworth to curl into the corner of the net from 18 yards.
The visitors looked dangerous as they played some slick football in the Orient half, but O’s tried to respond and Cox blasted a shot just over.
O’s switched to a more conventional 4-4-2 at the start of the second half with Cox on the left and Odubajo on the right.
But it was Colchester, who grabbed a killer second goal on 50 minutes when Craig Eastmond fired in a shot from the edge of the area that Allsop parried, but Henderson reacted first and although the O’s keeper stopped his first effort, he bundled the ball over the line.
The Orient manager responded by making a double substitution on 62 minutes with David Mooney and Cook replacing Brunt and Cox respectively.
O’s looked to have cut the deficit on 74 minutes when Odubajo’s shot was parried by Cousins in the visiting goal and Wagstaff swept the ball home, but his celebrations were cut short by an assistant referee’s flag.
As Orient found some rhythm Wagstaff cut in from the left and forced another save from Cousins, but the visitors rode out the brief storm without further concern.
However, O’s should have had a consolation at least on 90 minutes when Cook curled in an excellent left-wing cross and Mooney headed over from just six yards.
“There are just one or two things that are not going our way right now,” said Slade
“I still feel there is enough in there to be winning football matches.”
Leyton Orient: Allsop 6; McSweeney 5, Chorley 6, Clarke 6, Sawyer 6; Cox 6 (Cook 62 mins), Rowlands 6, Smith 5, Odubajo 7, Brunt 6 (Mooney 62 mins), *Wagstaff. 7 Subs: Jones, Bauldry, Griffith, Symes, James.
Orient bookings: Chorley (19 mins dissent), Odubajo (56 mins foul)
Colchester United: Cousins, Rose, Okuonghae, Ibehre, Bean (Duguid 85 mins), Henderson, Eastman, Wilson, Massey (Sears 75 mins), Wordsworth, Eastmond (O’Toole 80 mins). Subs: Pentney, Nkumu, Duguid, White, Wright.
Colchester bookings: Rose (60 mins foul), Wordsworth (63 mins foul), Wilson (66 mins foul)
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 3,378 (inc 627 Colchester fans)