Leyton Orient U18 2 – 3 Aldershot Town U18
FA Youth Cup Round Two
ORIENT were denied a dream FA Youth Cup date with West Ham by Aldershot Town at Brisbane Road on Thursday night.
The young O’s twice led, but were pegged back as the result of individual errors, then Aldershot’s Elliot Blair struck the decisive blow with three minutes to play.
It all started so promisingly for the hosts, who pushed Aldershot back from the off and exerted heavy pressure.
A string of corners eventually told when De’Reece Vanderhyde gave the O’s an 11th minute lead, stabbing home when a Joe Foley corner dropped for him eight yards from goal.
It was the ideal start for Andy Edwards’ side, but they had a brief lull after their goal and Aldershot came back into it.
They were level on 31 when home keeper Charlie Grainger spilled a low cross by his near post and Kofi Halliday eventually rammed the ball home after a scramble in the six-yard box.
That was the O’s cue to find their feet again and they were back in front just three minutes later thanks to their top scorer Affy Obafemi, who slid the ball past Shots keeper Luke Williams after being sent clear on goal.
Harry Lee shot not too far wide from outside the box as Orient kept up the pressure and the Londoners deserved their interval lead.
But Aldershot were a different animal at the start of the second period and Orient were unable to respond.
It took another error for them to get back on terms though, when Blair seized upon a weak backpass from Sinclaire Sandy to poke past Grainger for 2-2.
Harry Cooksley then shot inches wide after advancing into the O’s area from the left channel, but the game then settled down again into an even pattern.
Obafemi shot wide when off balance after seeming to shake off the last defender nine minutes from the end, and Aldershot were more clinical when their chance arrived on 87.
Blair was there to knock home after Cooksley’s corner was headed against the crossbar by one of the Shots defenders up on the attack, as Orient were left to reflect on a missed opportunity.
Orient: Charlie Grainger; De’Reece Vanderhyde, Sean Grace, Andys Nikolaou, Kevin Kwarteng (George Wickings 61); Rob Nash, Harry Lee; Sinclaire Sandy, Harrison Georgiou, Harry Lee; Affy Obafemi
Subs: (not used) Josh Uzun, Alex Finney, Sam Ling, Lawson Okimeji