Tranmere Rovers 3 – 1 Leyton Orient
npower League 1
ORIENT slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on the opening day of the npower League 1 season.
Michael Symes netted a late penalty, but it meant little for the visitors who found themselves 3-0 down by the midpoint of the second half.
Left back Zoumana Bakayogo got the scoring started on 33 minutes when he finished off a swift Rovers break.
Striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro then took over with two second half goals to give Orient an opening day defeat for the third consecutive season.
Tranmere began on the front foot and a fourth minute shot from range by right back Danny Holmes needed a diving stop from Jamie Jones.
The O’s then came back into it, but it was largely an opening period devoid of quality not punctuated by a great amount of action.
Tranmere did land a decisive blow just after the half hour though, as Orient were caught on the break following a long throw of their own deep in Tranmere territory.
The hosts worked the ball over to the left hand side where Jake Cassidy was able to feed through to a maurauding Bakayogo, who coolly slotted home by the near post.
David Mooney was close to levelling right on half time when he pulled down a long ball inside the box and prodded goalwards, but Owain Fon Williams denied him with a diving save.
The second half started badly for the visitors when Scott Cuthbert hobbled off injured and it quickly got worse as Akpa Akpro’s double took the contest beyond the Londoners.
His first goal came with 58 minutes on the clock when he lined up a shot from outside the box and found the top right hand corner with a delightful effort.
Then, seven minutes later, he made sure of the points with a back post header after James Wallace’s cross from the right channel cut out the O’s backline.
Orient hadn’t been able to offer much in an attacking sense, although Mathieu Baudry did come close to pulling one back with a fierce shot from 25 yards that whistled just wide of the right hand post.
And with three minutes left the O’s gave their travelling fans something to cheer when Symes converted from the spot following a foul on Jimmy Smith by Ash Taylor inside the area.
But it had little impact on the result as Orient couldn’t build on the high of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory over Charlton.
Tranmere: Fon Williams; Holmes, Taylor, Gibson, Bakayogo; Thompson, Wallace, Palmer, Robinson (Bell-Baggie 77); Cassidy, Akpa-Akpro (Stockton 82)
Subs: Harrison, Kirby, Power, Kay, Mooney
Goals: Bakayogo 33, Akpa Akpro 58, Akpa Akpro 65
Booked: Robinson, Fon Williams
Leyton Orient: Jones; James, Cuthbert (Chorley 48), Clarke, Sawyer; Baudry; Smith, Cox, Griffith; Lisbie (Symes 69), Mooney (Brunt 69)
Subs: McSweeney, Laird, Allsop (GK), Odubajo
Goal: Symes pen 87
Booked: Cox, Baudry, Symes
Referee: Geoff Eltringham