Freddy Moncur’s first goals of the season were not enough as Leyton Orient U18’s lost 3-2 at Gillingham on Saturday.
The midfielder scored early in both halves but the O’s were unable to pull themselves back after going into half time 3-1 down.
Orient’s Sandro Semedo had an early chance on the fifth minute when he raced through one-on-one with Gillingham keeper Chris Haigh but he was denied by a strong save which resulted in him having to be replaced by Scott Kashket.
Semedo’s injury killed any momentum Andy Edwards’ side had gained in the opening minutes but Orient soon retook control, taking the lead on the 19th minute. Shola Oladipo fizzed a ball across the box that Christian Owusu controlled well and set into the path of Freddy Moncur who expertly placed the ball beyond the reach of the keeper in the far corner.
Gillingham looked to be a real threat from set-pieces and equalised four minutes later when Sam Lawford provided the finishing touch to a well worked short corner that Orient had failed to react to.
Lawford then doubled his tally ten minutes later when took a quick throw and the forward sneaked in between Jack Humphrey and Kane Adams to head Gillingham in front.
Orient then found themselves 3-1 down following another corner, which Riccardo Thompson swept home from close range after Ben Card had pushed out Mitchell Dickenson’s initial header.
Kane Adams had a chance to pull one back in first half added time when Orient hit Gillingham on the counter but the full back could only fire straight at Haigh.
Nick Brown and Myles Judd were introduced at the start of the second half and Orient began well, pulling a goal back seven minutes after the restart. Following good work down the left by Victor Adeboyejo, Moncur raced onto his cross at the back post and powerfully dispatched his second of the match with a left footed finish.
The goal sent the visitors on the ascendancy and Scott Kashket nearly pulled the O’s level on the hour when he picked the ball up on the halfway line and burst into the Gills box but his chipped effort dropped just over the bar.
Orient continued to dominate possession in the opposition half as the match wore on and came close to grabbing an equaliser when Nick Brown volleyed effort from outside the box fizzled wide of the post.
Kashket then produced a wonderful mazy run with four minutes left to play, beating no less than three players before firing a powerful shot which look destined for the top left corner until Haigh tipped his shot round the post for a corner.
Despite their domination an equaliser eluded Leyton Orient as Gillingham held on, condoning the O’s to their second league defeat of the season.
ORIENT: Ben Card, Sam Alderson (Myles Judd 46), Sam Ling (C), Jack Humphrey, Kane Adams, Sandro Semedo (Scott Kashket 7), Montel Agyemang, Freddy Moncur, Shola Oladipo, Christian Owusu (Nick Brown 46), Victor Adeboyejo
SUBS: Sam Sargeant, Harry Andic
GOALS: Freddy Moncur (19 & 52)
BOOKINGS: Nick Brown (81)
GILLINGHAM: Chris Haigh, Callum Emptage (Jack Holland 77), Riccardo Thompson, Mitchell Dickenson (C), Mitchell Welch, Ross Ibbertson, Dan Adams, Ryan Crandley (Ben Chapman 66), Sam Stewart, Bradley Stevenson (Mitchell Wond 66), Sam Lawford
SUBS: Henry Newcombe
GOALS: Sam Lawford (23 & 33), Riccardo Thompson (42)
BOOKINGS: Ross Ibbertson (64)