Orient produced another strong away performance to knock holders Peterborough United out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Chris Dagnall was the star man for the O’s with a goal at the start of each half before Bradley Pritchard grabbed a third with a neat finish to put the match beyond Posh.
The win came at a cost though as Romain Vincelot was sent off for two yellow cards meaning he will pick up a one game ban.
O’s boss Russell Slade was forced to shuffle his pack again for the trip to London Road as Elliot Omozusi failed to recover from the knock to his foot that he sustained on Saturday, meaning Shane Lowry took his place at left back, whilst behind him, Gary Woods regained a place between the sticks.
Slade was also forced into a narrow midfield whilst Chris Dagnall started his first game of the season up front partnering David Mooney as Jay Simpson missed out as his partner had earlier gone into labour and Dean Cox was suffering from a knee complaint.
It was a strong looking Posh side who clearly meant business in attempting to retain the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and winning back some pride for their club after the Play-Off Semi-Final defeat to the O’s back in May.
It was the O’s though that grabbed the lead with their first venture into the Peterborough half. Mooney won a free-kick on the right hand side and Lloyd James bent a perfect delivery in for Dagnall to leap unmarked and head home. Posh boss Darren Ferguson would have been disappointed with the defending as Dagnall was one of three Orient players unmarked when the ball came in.
One with you can be certain of with Peterborough sides is that they will create chances and they almost levelled soon after when Michael Smith ventured up from left back and cut inside before flashing a shot into the side netting.
The entertaining start showed no signs of stopping as Orient followed up with a chance of their own when James again curled a ball in that caused havoc in the Posh back four and allowed Mooney to loop a header over Ben Alnwick but it bounced back off the inside of the post.
Kyle Vassell then brought the best out of Woods as the sides continued to slug it out in an entertaining opening 15 minutes that would have pleased at least the Sky producers who were in town to broadcast the game live.
Posh weren’t finished there though and soon grabbed a leveller. Marcus Maddison collected the ball from a short corner routine and dropped his shoulder to make space for a shot that he rifled low and hard into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Pritchard for Orient was the next to go close as Mooney broke through the Posh midfield and slipped in the midfielder who cut back inside to shoot in the right channel before his shot was blocked as Mooney bemoaned his decision not to square the ball.
It was always going to be difficult for both sides to continue with the ‘ding dong’ nature of the opening quarter and the tempo soon dropped and chances seemed to dry up. In that respect it could be deemed as a half of two quarters as the early action fizzled out and the teams went in level.
The first half began much like the first as Orient exploded out of the blocks to regain the lead. James was the architect again as he chipped it through to Dagnall who poked a volley past Alnwick.
He almost grabbed his hat-trick five minutes later when he combined well with Mooney and ploughed into the box before Alnwick fumbled his shot wide.
Orient soon extended their lead and Dagnall again was in the thick of it. The striker did brilliantly to keep the ball in the corner before wriggling into the box and putting a great ball across the face that Bradley Pritchard turned home with a cheeky back heel.
Pritchard almost grabbed another but for a brilliant save from Alnwick before Orient found themselves down to 10 men with 20 minutes to play. Romain Vincelot booked for a rash tackle four minutes beforehand, ran shoulder to shoulder with Maddison who tangled with the Frenchman and went down. Referee Keith Hill pondered it before brandishing a second yellow to the outrage of the Orient players and staff who believed it to be an innocent collision.
Mooney dropped into midfield and Orient spent much of the remainder of the match on the back foot but kept their shape well. There was a late scare though when Luke James turned in a loose ball following a great save from Woods to set up a frantic last minute but it was too little too late.
ORIENT: Woods, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, James (McAnuff 59), Mooney, Lowry, Clarke (C), Pritchard, Bartley, Dagnall (Lee 88)
Subs: Legzdins, Henderson, Ling
Goals: Dagnall 4, 47, Pritchard 62
Bookings: James 30, Lowry 90.
Red: Vincelot 70 (two yellow cards)
POSH: Alnwick, Smith, Brisley, Payne (C) (McCann 66), Vassell (James 60), Washington, Anderson, Newell, Ferdinand (Barnett 80), Burgess, Maddison
Subs: Walker, Santos,
Goals: Maddison 16, James 90
Bookings: Vassell 50, Brisley 57,