Portsmouth 2 – 3 Leyton Orient
npower League 1
ORIENT made it four wins on the spin but not without a scare at Portsmouth as they edged a five-goal Fratton Park thriller.
Twice the O’s enjoyed seemingly comfortable two-goal leads in the second period, but twice they gave Portsmouth hope before just seeing the game out.
For an hour it looked anything but tight as Orient pressed, harried and attacked their way into a position of dominance.
Kevin Lisbie’s two goals sandwiched a Moses Odubajo effort as Orient again found their touch in front of goal.
However, they were less secure at the other end after the interval as Izale McLeod and Scott Allan netted for the hosts, but the O’s had done enough in that first 62 minutes to take the points back up the A3.
Russell Slade named an unchanged team from the one that beat Carlisle so convincingly on Saturday and they started as though they meant to carry on from where they left off.
Lisbie was again looking lively up front, both as a threat and bringing others into play ans the O’s had the better chances early on.
Martin Rowlands had a 20-yard volley deflected inches wide on four minutes, while shortly afterwards Dean Cox’s goalbound effort was blocked inside the six yard box.
But although they made a promising start, the O’s should still have fallen behind on 27 minutes when referee Graham Scott awarded them a dubious penalty.
The O’s players were absolutely furious when the official deemed Allsop to have fouled Brian Howard inside the area, but justice was done in their eyes as the O’s keeper dived to his right to block McLeod’s effort.
Orient should have punished their hosts further seconds later when the broke straight away and found themselves with men over inside the box, but Lee Cook’s heavy touch after Lisbie rolled it square allowed keeper Mikkel Andersen to smother.
Nathan Clarke then had an effort saved by Andersen from point blank range after a corner dropped to him inside the six-yard box.
Orient finally grabbed the goal they deserved on 32 minutes when a magnificent pass from Cox cut out the entire Portsmouth backline and fed Lisbie in to nudge past the advancing Andersen for 1-0.
Still the chances kept coming for Orient and shortly afterwards David Mooney’s downward header kissed the far post on its way wide following a Cox free kick.
The second Orient merited arrived six minutes after the restart when they worked the ball well down the right for Lisbie to knock inside for Odubajo, who had advanced from right back, and he finished calmly past the exposed Andersen.
The O’s had been so assured in establishing a commanding lead, but Portsmouth came back and should have reduced the arrears on 53 when Clarke was caught dithering in possession by Allan.
He had McLeod square but somehow contrived to underhit his pass, allowing Clarke to race back and clear.
Three minutes later they were less charitable when Clarke was again slow to react to Paul Benson coming up behind him, and this time ref Scott had no choice but to award the penalty after the O’s man caught the striker.
McLeod again took responsibility and this time drilled high into the net to give his side hope.
The crowd were up, but they were quickly silenced again when Orient advanced and were given a penalty for themselves when Lisbie was caught by Ricardo Rocha as he turned inside the box.
Lisbie picked himself up to take the spot kick and he rolled the ball to the left with Andersen diving right to make it 3-1.
But once again Orient allowed their hosts back in to the contest when, just three minutes later, they were caught on the break as Allan sprinted onto a pass in the right channel, cut back into the area and found the bottom left corner with his drilled effort.
Portsmouth had renewed hope and began to attack the O’s with real vigour. The visitors were forced into a defensive reshuffle when Clarke limped off with a knock and Mathieu Baudry took his place in central defence.
10 minutes from time Allsop was well positioned by his far post to save Rocha’s header after Brian Howard’s free kick picked him out.
Former O’s trialist Johnny Ertl then had a stinging volley touched over by the O’s keeper, but the Londoners withstood the surge to hold on to the points.
Portsmouth: Andersen; Dumbuya, Michalik, Gyepes (Rocha 35), Harley; Allan, Russell (Ertl 53), Howard, Mendez-Laing; Benson, McLeod
Subs: Walker, Compton, Eastwood (GK), Harris, Webster
Goals: McLeod pen 56, Allan 65
Leyton Orient: Allsop; Odubajo, Clarke (Baudry 72), Chorley, Sawyer; Cox (Smith 78), Rowlands, James, Cook (Griffith 86); Lisbie, Mooney
Subs: Jones (GK), McSweeney, Symes, Brunt
Goals: Lisbie 32, Odubajo 51, Lisbie pen 62
Booked: Clarke, Cook, Baudry
Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 9.955 (392 away)