The young O’s made a stunning comeback late on to secure all three points in a five-goal thriller against MK Dons.
Richard Thomas’s side twice came back from a goal behind thanks to strikes from Josh Koroma, as the O’s took their chances in stoppage time with a late goal coming from Ruel Sotiriou to seal a 3-2 victory.
The O’s were missing top goalscorer Tristan Abrahams through suspension and Sam Dalby who was an unused substitute for the first team. With a makeshift attacking line, the O’s struggled to find their feet in the first half going in 0-0 at the break.
Just 10 minutes after the restart Toby Stevenson gave away a penalty after pulling down Peter Kioso in the box. Brandon Thomas-Sante stepped up to take the spot kick, and though Sam Roach picked the right side and got a hand to the shot, it was too powerful to keep out.
Thomas’ side found the equaliser on 65 minutes however through a Josh Koroma strike after a ball from Steven Alzate as both players tried to bring their side back into the game.
The O's were then boosted by the return of captain Charley Barker for the final 15 minutes, as the midfielder came off the bench to make his first appearance in four months after being sidelined with a stress fracture in the lower back.
With only three minutes remaining in regulation time Orient fell behind once again. A counter attack down the right side left the O’s open and the ball into the box was converted by Thomas-Sante for the strikers second on the day.
The hosts responded in great fashion though with Koroma doubling his tally when scoring with a header from a corner.
Deep into stoppage time the O’s took the lead and all three points. A great ball up field from Barker found Koroma who did brilliantly to beat the defender and create space for the pass to Ruel Sotiriou.
The forward then showed great composure as he faked a shot to beat the defender before blasting the ball into the back of the net giving the keeper no chance and seal a dramatic win.
A great win for the O’s as they prepare for the Youth Cup tie at Leicester City on Wednesday night.
ORIENT: Sam Roach, Rian McLean, Toby Stevenson, Henry Ochieng, Dan Happe, Teddy Perkins, Andrew Camilo-Tayaca (Charley Barker 76), Steven Alzate, Ruel Sotiriou, Josh Koroma, Pat Adamson.
SUBS: Arthur Janata, Charles Clayden, Ernold Haxhiu, Aaron Rowe.
SCORERS: Koroma (2), Sotiriou.