Crawley Town 1 – 0 Leyton Orient
npower League 1
NICKY AJOSE’S second half goal made it three defeats from three for the O’s at Crawley Town on Saturday.
Ajose netted the winner for the Sussex side 18 minutes from time as Orient’s search for their first League 1 points goes on.
It had been an improved first half performance from the Londoners, but Crawley took over after the break and were eventually deserving of their three point haul.
Russell Slade made five changes to the side that lost at Everton, with Martin Rowlands coming in for a full debut in midfield, and the ex-QPR man was heavily involved from the start.
With less than a minute on the clock he drew a save from Crawley stopper Paul Jones with a low left-footed effort from 22 yards.
Then, 60 seconds later he broke into the box and went to ground, but was handed a yellow card after referee Phillip Gibbs deemed to have tumbled too easily.
Josh Simpson’s fierce volley needed a decent save from Ryan Allsop, in for the injured Jamie Jones, at the other end in a frantic start to the game.
Orient were much improved in possession in the opening period as they began to force Crawley onto the back foot and with 27 minutes on the clock Moses Odubajo made a strong run down the right hand flank before drilling wide with his left foot.
The home side began to come into the game as half time neared and Claude Davis wasn’t far away with a glancing header following a David Hunt cross on 39.
Then right on half time, a combination of Ben Chorley and Allsop kept out Nicky Adams’ placed effort after the former O’s loanee broke clear in the left channel.
The O’s couldn’t attack the second period with the same potency as the first and Crawley became the aggressors more and more as time wore on.
Ajose should really have given his team the lead earlier than he did, poking wide of an open goal with 63 minutes on the clock after his run split the away centre backs and he beat Allsop to the ball outside the box.
The miss wasn’t to matter though as, nine minutes later, he did find the net, sweeping past Allsop from the left hand side of the penalty area after Michael Jones’ pass found him all alone in a very dangerous area.
Orient brought on Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney from the bench, but their presence had no impact as Crawley comfortably held out for the victory.
Crawley: P Jones; Hunt, Davis (Cooper 52), McFadzean, Sadler; Adams, Simpson, Akpan, Ajose (Forte 82); Alexander, Clarke (M Jones 69)
Subs: Connolly, Walsh, Bulman, Kuipers (GK)
Goal: Ajose 72
Leyton Orient: Allsop; McSweeney, Clarke, Chorley, Sawyer; Rowlands, Griffith; Odubajo (Lisbie 72), Cox, Cook (Mooney 65); Symes
Subs: Baudry, Smith, Laird, Grainger (GK), Brunt
Booked: Rowlands, Griffith
Referee: Phillip Gibbs
Attendance: 3,287 (679 away)