Leyton Orient U18 4 – 2 Southend United U18
Leyton Orient U18’s produced an accomplished display to overcome Southend United 4-2 on Saturday.
Despite the team boasting a number of changes following last Thursday’s FA Youth Cup exertions, Orient were tantalising during the opening 28 minutes of the match, racing into a 3-0 lead thanks to a strike from Jerome Martelli and a brace from Scott Kashkett that included a memorable strike to savour.
Southend showed good resolve to pull the score back to 3-2 midway through the second half, but any hopes of a fightback were extinguished with 10 minutes remaining after substitute Sam Ling found the target to cap an impressive three days for the O’s.
The hosts were lively during the opening exchanges and they took a deserved lead in the 19th minute through Kashkett. The forward was found by fellow strike partner Martelli’s neat pass before directing his low-drive past Jed Smith.
Orient continued on in the ascendancy and it took a great interception from Dan Matsuzaka to deny Martelli, who looked certain to dispatch the rebound after Shola Oladipo’s shot was fumbled by Smith. But from the resulting corner the striker would not be denied as he leapt highest to head his side into a two-goal advantage.
The visitors’ task was made tougher in the 28th minute following a moment of brilliance from Kashkett. Martelli again caused terror in the Southend defence before sliding a pass to the former, who teed the ball for himself before swivelling and unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard volley that drew plenty of applauds from the watching crowd.
The Blues appeared shell-shocked following Orient’s blitz but they nearly pulled a goal back just before half time when Brandon Scott’s cross was nearly deflected into his own net by Jack Humphrey.
The away side were sent out early in anticipation for the second half and they gave themselves a platform in the 53rd minute by pulling a goal back through Nico Cotton, who wriggled away from Alex Finney before beating Ben Bridle-Card with a well-placed shot.
The lifeline seemed to galvanise Southend as they then made it 3-2 11 minutes later through Matsuzaka. The defender headed Scott’s cross past Bridle-Card to give the Blues genuine hope of drawing level with 25 minutes remaining.
But Andy Edwards’ decision to introduce Montel Ageymang and Ling to proceedings proved an inspired one, as the substitutes combined in the 80th minute to make the game safe for the O’s. Ageymang’s inviting corner was emphatically met with a thumping header by Ling, who was clearly delighted to have grabbed his first goal of the season.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half and scored some good goals, especially Scott’s (Kashkett) second goal,” expressed goalscorer Ling. “We let Southend get back into the game during the second half, but overall we deserved the win today, plus it’s a great feeling for me to have got my first goal of the season.”
Orient: Ben Bridle-Card, Robert Mensah (Sam Ling, 72), Alex Finney (C), Jack Humphrey, Kane Adams, Elyon Egbeku, Nick Brown (Montel Ageymang, 76), Cameron Kelly, Shola Oladipo, Scott Kashkett (Lawson Okameji, 59), Jerome Martelli. Subs not used: Christian Owusu, Josh Uzun, Andis Nikolau
Goals: Kashkett (19, 28), Martelli (22), Ling (80)
Bookings: Oladipo (90)
Southend United: Jed Smith (C), Jordan Williams, Emmanuel Adeyoye, Harry Norman (Freddie Gard, 68), Josh Banton, Dan Matsuzaka, Brandon Scott, Charlie Barlow (Kojo Apenting, 83), Jason Williams, Jack Bride, Nico Cotton. Subs not used: Ross Johnson, Dawry Goid, Macauley Keating
Goals: Cotton (53), Matsuzaka (64)