Sandro Semedo’s first goal of the season was not enough as Southend United condemned Leyton Orient U18’s to their first league defeat of the season.
Southend took the lead after ten minutes when Joe Bedford capitalised on a mistake but Leyton Orient grabbed a quick equaliser on the 13th minute when Semedo fired the O’s level with a powerful left footed drive. Both goalkeepers were rarely troubled throughout the match but Southend grabbed a 56th minute winner when Cameron John headed in Harry Phillips’ free-kick.
Following a close start in which neither side managed to gain control of the match, Southend opened the scoring on the 10th minute when midfielder Joe Bedford intercepted a pass across the Orient defence on the halfway line and burst through to slot past O’s ‘keeper Ben Card.
Having conceded what was the first shot of the match, Orient responded strongly and equalised three minutes later when winger Sandro Semedo emphatically rifled a left footed drive into the roof of the next after Shola Oladipo had picked him out with a cross.
Following the O’s equaliser, the match settled back down to a tight affair and chances were at a minimum until the 34th minute when Christian Owusu blazed an effort over the bar from a Kane Adams cross before the half ended even.
Like the first half, the contest was a close affair and the tie appeared scrappy at times but Southend retook the lead on the 56th minute. Orient failed to organise themselves whilst defending a free-kick and left Cameron John in enough space to head Harry Phillips’ free-kick past Card unchallenged.
Freddy Moncur whipped in a dangerous free-kick on the 60th minute which evaded everyone and forced Shrimpers ‘keeper Josh Bexon to push the ball out for a corner but Orient rarely troubled the goalkeeper throughout the rest of the second half and lacked penetration in the final third.
Moncur nearly worked a wonderful chance with sixteen minutes left to go when he controlled Adams’ cross superbly on his chest but Southend defender Abdul Salami recovered brilliantly to prevent the midfielder from getting his shot away and deflected the ball out for a corner.
With only seconds remaining of added time Victor Adeboyejo had a chance to grab an equaliser but the ball bounced at an awkward height and the striker failed to get any real conviction behind his shot as Southend held on for the narrow victory.
Orient’s Academy Director Andy Edwards admitted he was unhappy with the goals conceded but felt his side created the better chances.
“You won’t see two poorer goals than the ones we conceded today. Generally we defended well as a team but both the goals were disappointing to concede,” said Edwards.
“The second half was a scrappy affair. It wasn’t the greatest of matches to watch at times but I thought we had the better chances throughout the match yet we’ve come away getting beaten which is disappointing.”
ORIENT: Ben Card, Sam Ling (c), Michael Clark, Jack Humphrey (Myles Judd 59), Kane Adams, Sandro Semedo, Freddy Moncur, Montel Ageymang, Shola Oladipo, Christian Owusu, Victor Adeboyejo
SUBS: Sam Sargent, Harry Andic
GOALS: Sandro Semedo (13)
BOOKINGS: Victor Adeboyejo (62)
SOUTHEND: Josh Bexon, Jordan Williams, Emmanuel Adeyeye, Abdul Salami, Daniel Matsuzaka, Ross Johnson (c), Renei Batlokwa (Damani Dias 46), Joe Bedford, George Burton, Harry Phillips (Elvis Bwomono 78), Cameron John (Tom Clifford 57)
SUBS: Jack Sims, Joe McKenzie
GOALS: Joe Bedford (10), Cameron John (56)
BOOKINGS: Tom Clifford (73)