IT WAS a familiar feeling for the O’s on Saturday as Tranmere condemned them to a third consecutive opening day defeat – and it was a feeling manager Russell Slade didn’t want to experience.
Two goals from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro added to Zoumana Bakayogo’s first half strike gave the home side the points, despite Michael Symes’ late penalty.
Orient rarely threatened to take anything back to London and Slade was disappointed with the performance.
He said: “It certainly wasn’t the start we were hoping for. You want a good first game and to at least take something, but it wasn’t the case and I didn’t think we deserved to take anything back down the motorway.
“It was a game of taking your chances and Tranmere took theirs. We didn’t, although Fon Williams [Tranmere keeper] made the save of the game strangely enough just before half time.
“After a good performance like the one we put in at Charlton, you want to follow that up, but we were bang average in that first half.
“Just after half time we stepped it up a little bit and their second goal came against the run of play, but that’s football for you – it can be hurtful sometimes.
“The second goal was the killer, and there weren’t enough pockets of play for us. Probably the best pocket of play we had was when we got the penalty. We moved the ball quicker – that’s what we needed to do. We did that at the start of the second period and and the end, but it was too little, too late.”
A bad day was made worse by the sight of Scott Cuthbert hobbling off with an injury early in the second half, and Slade says he will have to wait to discover the extent of the Scotsman’s problem.
The boss added: “Obviously there’s an injury there, whether it’s to his existing hamstring I’m not quite sure.
“I’ll leave that to the medical staff and we’ll probably have an update on Monday.”