Watford U18 0-2 Leyton Orient U18 22.3.14
First half strikes from Josh Uzun and Freddy Moncur helped Leyton Orient U18s romp to a 2-0 success over Watford.
The O’s enjoyed sustained periods of possession throughout the match as they prevailed from Hertfordshire with all three points.
The opening period of the game saw both teams evenly matched. With Orient having been a major threat from set pieces in recent weeks it was no surprise to see Moncur’s corner cause problems in the Watford area after 10 minutes.
The home side soon responded with their first chance, as Ilmyeong Choi’s neat slide-rule pass found Michael Folivi, but good footwork from Ben Bridle-Card denied the striker the opening goal.
Orient were then thankful to Andys Nikolau in the 17th minute when the defender cleared Josh Doherty’s goal-bound effort off the line.
The away side then took full advantage of their good fortune as they seized the lead on 20 minutes. After Watford’s defence failed to clear Sinclaire Sandy’s first cross the same player was able to pick out Uzun with his second, and the Orient midfielder rose well to nod the ball past Shaun Rowley.
The same duo linked once more with half an hour gone after Sandy again broke down the right before sending in a low cross, but this time Uzun was unable to direct his shot on target.
Orient continued to threaten a second goal, with Jerome Martelli the latest to shoot wide following good link-up play with Montel Ageymang.
With the visitors now starting to control possession the Hornets’ best hope of a goal appeared on the break, and it nearly arrived on 43 minutes. Max Makaka’s volleyed pass picked out the run of Choi, who was faced with only Bridle-Card to beat, but the Orient stopper produced a great save to preserve his side’s lead.
The importance of the save was highlighted further during stoppage time when Orient managed to extend their lead. Good feet from Uzun saw him evade a couple of challenges, and he then showed good composure to pick out Moncur on the edge of the box, who unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner to leave the O’s well on top going into half time.
The visitors’ fluid 4-4-2 system had proven to work well during the opening half, and the O’s continued on in the same manner at the restart. Good ball retention nearly resulted in an opportunity for Martelli, though a heavy touch meant the chance was lost.
Despite seemingly appearing in control Orient had to remain wary of Watford’s attacking threat, as Brandon Mason surged forward to cross for Panos Armenakas, who volleyed wide.
Substitute Scott Kashket then came close to a third goal for the away side when his rasping 25-yard shot stung the palms of Rowley.
The O’s looked on course for a second successive clean sheet with only five minutes remaining, but the Hornets came close to a consolation through Folivi’s mazy run that found Bridle-Card a match at the end of it, but Orient would go on to secure victory.
Academy Director Andy Edwards appeared happy with the overall performance of his side following the final whistle.
“I was generally pleased with how the team performed today,” he remarked.
“The first half was maybe a bit too open from both side’s perspective, so we tried to tighten up by keeping better possession after the break.
“I felt that we had superior control of the game during the second period but perhaps didn’t create enough chances from it, but we must credit Watford for defending well.”
Orient: Ben Bridle-Card, Sam Ling, Jack Humphrey, Lawson Okameji (Shola Oladipo, 55), Alex Finney (C), Andys Nikolau (Kane Adams, 55), Freddy Moncur, Montel Ageymang, Sinclaire Sandy, Jerome Martelli (Scott Kashket, 71), Josh Uzun. Subs not used: Nick Brown
Goals: Uzun (20), Moncur (45+1)
Bookings: Finney, Humphrey
Watford: Shaun Rowley, Alfred Bawling, Josh Doherty, Carl Stewart, Charles Rowan, Alfie Young (C), Michael Folivi, Ilmyeong Choi (Mahlondo Martin, 63) (Joseph Otudeko, 81), Panos Armenakas, Max Makaka (Jacob Cook, 55), Brandon Mason. Subs not used: Josh Wallen, Matthew Hall
Bookings: Rowan, Young, Makaka