Tehoue’s late strike sees Orient home
Mpoku inspires Orient as Hartlepool’s defence is finally beaten
Leyton Orient 1 Hartlepool United 0
A LAST-GASP goal from Jonathan Tehoue, his first of the season, earned his side a precious victory over Hartlepool United and lifted Orient out of the bottom four.
The French striker, on as a 56th-minute substitute for Alex Revell, reacted first when Charlie Daniels’ right-winger corner dropped in the area and the striker reacted first to smash the ball home from close range.
But if it was Tehoue’s strike that wrapped up the points, it was the performance of the other substitute Paul-Jose Mpoku that turned the game Orient’s way.
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He replaced an out-of-sorts Dean Cox in a double substitution on 56 minutes and immediately made an impact down the left.
Orient had dominated the first half without making much of impression, but Hartlepool, who had conceded just once in five away games in the league before this fixture, took control after the break.
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But Mpoku helped turn the tide back Orient’s way with several impressive raids down the flank and threatened danger every time he touched the ball.
The finale was far more entertaining than the first half, where chances were few and far between as Orient huffed and puffed, but rarely threatened a Hartlepool side, who played Colin Larkin as a lone front man and were happy to pull the rest of the team behind the ball.
The tactics stifled Orient, and it was Hartlepool who engineered the first real opening. An awful pass from Cox, back towards his own goal, only found Larkin, but stand-in skipper Ben Chorley blocked the Hartlepool striker’s shot.
Gary Liddle then dragged an effort wide for the visitors, but only after Elliot Omozusi looked as if he had given him a tug.
Orient’s only effort of note came when Jimmy Smith, in for skipper Stephen Dawson ruled out with a groin strain, fired in a shot from 22 yards.
Hartlepool keeper Jake Kean could only parry the effort and was then caught with a stray boot by a visiting defender in the scramble that followed.
After the break Hartlepool sensed they might be able to take more a point from the game and started to dominate.
Home keeper Lee Butcher made a smart stop to keep the scores level, before Peter Hartley shot wide following a corner.
Butcher then tipped away a Leon McSweeney header, before Mpoku started to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The youngster sent free-kick inches wide, and as Orient grew in confidence, Smith headed wide after some good build up play and the momentum finally paid dividends a minute from time when Tehoue made the vital breakthrough.
Orient: Butcher, Omozusi, Forbes, Chorley, Daniels, Spring, Chambers, Smith, Cox (Mpoku 56 mins), Revell (Tehoue 56 mins), McGleish. Subs: Lovelock, Brown, Jarvis, Cestor, Walker.
Orient bookings: Spring (62 mins foul), Tehoue (76 mins foul).
Attendance: 3,605 (inc 201 hartlepool fans).
Star man: Mpoku.