Smith at the double as Orient warm up for Arsenal
O’s come from behind and edge closer to the play-offs
MK Dons 2 Leyton Orient 3
ORIENT moved to within three points of the play-off places as they warmed up for Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Arsenal with a thrilling win against the MK Dons.
Twice Jimmy Smith hauled Orient back on level terms before the break after Dean Lewington and former O’s favourites Jabo Ibehre had put the home side ahead.
Then, with just 16 minutes remaining, O’s substitute Jonathan Tehoue grabbed the winner, as the visitors recorded their third straight league win and have now lost just once in their last 20 games.
Orient boss Russell Slade made two changes to the side that had beaten Bristol Rovers last weekend as Paul-Jose M’Poku and Elliot Omozusi came into the side in place of Terrell Forbes and Scott McGleish, who dropped to the bench.
It was the MK Dons who opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Orient could only half-clear a corner and Lewington lashed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
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But O’s levelled 10 minutes later when Charlie Daniels raced down the left and latched onto a pass from Alex Revell and crossed for Jimmy Smith to provide a cool finish from 12 yards.
In an exciting first half the home side were ahead six minutes later when Ibehre hit the target against his former club with an effort that went in off the underside of the bar following good work by Peter Leven and Rowan Vine.
Ibehre might have had a second as the MK Dons threatened to press home their advantage, but O’s made the MK Dons pay for not making the most of their chances when Smith grabbed his third goal in two games.
Daniels was the provider again six minutes before the break, when his deep cross picked out Smith at the far post and with the MK Dons players waiting for an offside flag, he headed past David Martin in the home goal.
After the break Jones, who had made some important stops in the first half, denied Vine before Daniel Powell was stopped in his tracks by an Andrew Whing tackle, after the MK Dons man had rounded the visiting keeper.
But O’s hit back and Smith might have had a hat-trick, but drove an effort from 20 yards just over the bar.
The all-important goal arrived on 74 minutes when Tehoue, who had replaced Alex Revell five minutes earlier, latched on to M’Poku’s fine through ball and coolly beat Martin.
The MK Dons hit back and Jones denied Tom Flanagan and Sean O’Hanlon in the closing stages as the O’s stretched their unbeaten run to 11 – but number 12 will be their toughest test of all!
Leyton Orient: Jones, Whing, Omozusi, Chorley, Daniels, Crowe, M’Poku (Carroll 90 mins), Smith, Dawson, Cox, Revell (Tehoue 69 mins). Subs: Butcher, Forbes, McGleish, Jarvis, Kane.
Referee: Brendan Malone