Leyton Orient opened their pre-season fixtures with a 1-0 loss to an Italian U19 side in the searing heat at Coverciano.
Manager Andy Hessenthaler gave a first start to both Dean Cox and Paul McCallum, with both returning from knee ligament injuries, while new signings Tom Parkes, Yvan Erichot and Robbie Weir also made the starting XI. In goal was former Bologna goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic, who is on trial with the O’s.
Due to temperatures of 35 degrees, the game was played in three 30-minute spells, and Orient started on the front foot, winning a set piece on the edge of the area and Cox forced goalkeeper Alex Meret into a solid save.
Italy U19s, who are preparing for the European Championships later this month, forced Stojanovic into two smart saves in a quick succession to deny Simone Edera and Luca Vido.
Cox worked an opening for last season’s top goalscorer Jay Simpson, but the effort was deflected behind for a corner and from the resulting set piece, McCallum headed over.
The first 30 minutes finished goalless with Erichot replaced by Michael Clark and three minutes later Cox saw an effort from inside the box blocked, before seeing a curling effort deflected on to the roof of the net.
Orient were to find themselves behind though when the ball fell Diego Borhini inside the box and a fierce finish found a way past Stojanovic.
After 15 minutes of the second spell, wholesale changes were made by the O’s with Sam Sargeant, Callum Kennedy, Sean Clohessy, Gavin Massey, Nigel Atangana, Freddy Moncur, Armand Gnanduillet and Ollie Palmer all coming on.
Gnanduillet saw a drilled effort from inside the box held by Emil Audero as the second 30-minute period drew to a close.
Chances were at a premium as the game wore on, but the opportunities that were created fell to Orient. Gnanduillet’s header was well saved, while an effort from Massey was just over the bar.
ORIENT: Stojanovic (Trialist), Semedo, Erichot, Parkes, Hunt, Koroma, Weir, Moore, Cox, McCallum, Simpson.
SUBSTITUTES USED: Sargeant, Clark, Clohessy, Kennedy, Atangana, Massey, Moncur, Gnanduillet, Palmer.