Top of the table Orient ensured that they ended August with their 100 per cent League record intact after a gutsy 2-1 win over Colchester who were also unbeaten heading into the game.
The O’s had to fight hard for the historic three points as goals from in-form strike duo David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie gave Orient the edge in a close fought encounter. The victory means for the first time ever the club has won it’s first five league fixtures whilst it was also the first time the Club has won a League game at Colchester in 51 years.
The match started brightly for Orient as they looked to attack from the off. Some strong work from Kevin Lisbie saw him power past his marker and feed Mooney into the box. Mooney’s effort was cut out and presented Orient with their first corner of the game. Lloyd James picked out Mathieu Baudry with the set play but the Frenchman would have been disappointed not to find the target with his stooping header.
After a frantic start the match began to settle. This was clearly an affair between two teams high on confidence and both sides tried to impose themselves early on, but could only cancel each other out. Freddie Sears was a constant threat for the Orient defence with some direct running at the O’s back-line. The O’s remained resolute and unable to break into the box, Colchester’s first efforts on goal came from distance, with Sanchez Watt forcing a good save from Jamie Jones in the early exchanges.
In the 35th minute Orient finally made the breakthrough. Dean Cox collected the ball on the left following a Jones goal kick and spotted the run of Mooney who’d made a bursting run into the box, the winger picked him out with perfection and the Irishman showed great composure to bring the ball down and fire past Sam Walker in the Colchester goal for his fifth goal in as many League games.
Despite their lead, Orient struggled to initially press home their advantage. The U’s applied a lot of pressure in the Orient half, winning a succession of corners, but they came to no avail.
Orient finally regained some composure as Kevin Lisbie threatened to make it 2-0 on the half hour mark. After a surging run into the box, Lisbie opened his body in a bid to find the opposite corner, but saw his effort saved well by Walker. The chance gave Orient life as they pressed with a number of set-plays of their own but soon found themselves level.
The home side found an equaliser in the 35th minute courtesy of former Orient striker Jabo Ibehre. Good work on the right presented the ball to Ibehre just inside the box, and striking the ball on the turn, the ex-O’s man found the opposite corner of the goal despite Jones’ best efforts to stop him.
Just as the half time whistle beckoned, Colchester’s Sanchez Watt made Jones think in the Orient goal as he hit a rasping effort from distance, which just missed the upright.
The second half opened as the first half finished, with no side able to establish any real dominance in the match.
The pressure soon told though as Orient regained the lead on 63 minutes. More cutting play down the left flank by Cox saw him lift a ball into the six-yard box and Kevin Lisbie arrived right on cue to head home at the back post and send the O’s fans in front of him into rapture.
The home side responded well however to going behind again and set about looking to restore parity as quickly as they could as efforts were fired in at Jones’ goal from all angles. Unable to penetrate Orient’s back line, most of the U’s attempts came from outside the box and were comfortably dealt with.
Half way through the second period Colchester managed to find the back of the net through Ibehre again but it was ruled out for offside as he tapped home from Sanchez Watt. The introductions of Alex Gilbey and Drey Wright for David Wright and Gavin Massey gave Colchester another dimension as the pair looked dangerous around the Orient penalty area.
A further bombardment of set-plays followed, as Colchester sub Clinton Morrison tried a shot on the swivel just inside the box, but his effort went harmlessly over.
In the 82nd minute the home fans were screaming for a penalty as U’s sub Drey Wright went down under a challenge from Scott Cuthbert, but referee Woolmer waved away the protests.
As the game headed into injury-time, Colchester’s efforts to find the equaliser became more extreme. In the 90th minute, goalkeeper Sam Walker went up for a corner, as the U’s pressure become almost relentless. The ball was cleared again by the O’s defence and Shaun Batt sprinted out to win the ball and advance on the empty net. Under pressure from the retreating Walker, he fired his shot wide.
Regardless of this missed chance, the final whistle sounded only seconds later as Orient made history.