Leyton Orient 1 – 0 Hartlepool United
npower League 1
ORIENT returned to winning ways with a 1-0 triumph over struggling Hartlepool United at Brisbane Road on Tuesday.
Ryan Brunt scored the only goal of the game at the start of the second half but the performance was more convincing than the slender scoreline suggests as Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders made a number of fine saves.
Pools did go close to nicking a point when Steve Howard’s header crashed against the crossbar, but Orient were well deserving of the points that took them back into the top half of the table.
O’s boss Russell Slade gave Moses Odubajo a start on the right flank and he justified his manager’s faith with a fine display.
He was involved from the off, sending in a third minute shot from the edge of the box that Flinders did well to tip over.
The hosts started at a great pace and went close again in the 12th minute when Jimmy Smith met Dean Cox’s corner with a strong header which Flinders did well to stop.
Scott Wagstaff had a chance when he advanced inside the area but didn’t get hold of the shot with the ball dribbling wide.
Hartlepool were beginning to restrict the O’s as the half wore on, but their threat was limited with only a weak Ritchie Humphreys shot from range needing any kind of save from Ryan Allsop.
The O’s started the second period as they did the first and Brunt smashed a left footed shot over less than 60 seconds after the restart after Odubajo’s effort was blocked.
And the breakthrough came a minute later and it was no surprise that Odubajo was involved, spinning away from his man before delivering a cross that begged to be put away.
Brunt obliged, nodding back across Flinders to notch his third goal of the campaign, all of which have come at Brisbane Road.
Five minutes later Flinders shovelled a fierce Cox effort over the top as Orient remained on the front foot.
The chances kept coming and Brunt dragged a left footed shot across goal when he could perhaps have cut back to Cox in an inviting position.
Orient’s only moments of alarm came midway through the half when first a Neil Austin free kick flashed wide, then Howard’s header thudded against the underside of the bar following a corner from the right.
Had Hartlepool netted, it would have been an injustice for the O’s and they soon restored order with only a fine fingertip save from Flinders denying Cox, whose shot looked to be fading away from the keeper and towards the bottom corner.
Odubajo shot into the side netting in the final minute before being substituted to warm applause as Orient saw out time to record a fifth win of the campaign.
The final shot count read 20-7 in Orient’s favour, as they quickly forgot about their shot-shy performance at Bournemouth with a well earned three point haul.
Leyton Orient: Allsop; McSweeney, Clarke, Chorley, Sawyer; Odubajo (Griffith 90+2), Smith, Rowlands, Cox; Wagstaff, Brunt
Subs: Baudry, Symes, Laird, Cook, James, Mooney
Goal: Brunt 47
Hartlepool: Flinders; Austin, Hartley, Baldwin, Holden; Franks (Richards 66), Sweeney, Murray (Luscombe 78), Humphreys; Howard, Noble (Poole 55)
Subs: Collins, Walton, Rutherford, McHugh (GK)
Booked: Humphreys, Howard, Baldwin
Referee: Brendan Malone
Attendance: 2,664 (127 away)