Leyton Orient U18s turned on the style with a resounding 4-0 win away at Cambridge.
Christian Owusu got the ball rolling on the 10th minute before Sam Ling, Montel Agyemang and Harry Andic added goals of their own in a dominant second half showing.
Following last weekend’s break Andy Edwards welcomed back captain Sam Ling who returned in defence having undergone facial surgery last month. Ling’s return saw Jack Humphrey move across to left back while Shola Oladipo partnered Christian Owusu in attack.
Sam Sargeant was the hero last time out with a penalty save at Dagenham & Redbridge and the goalkeeper was forced into action with only two minutes on the clock, coming off his line to deny Cambridge striker Jake Simpson when through one-on-one.
Minutes later the O’s stopper pulled off an equally impressive save as he scampered across his line to tip Elliot Hogan’s shot round the post.
Cambridge had created the better chances early on but Orient responded by taking the lead with their first real opportunity of the match.
Josh Koroma ventured forward down the left and played the ball into the feet of Shola Oladipo who, despite being under considerable pressure, clipped a backheel towards his strike partner Christian Owusu. Owusu then wriggled inside the box before firing the O’s ahead with a low shot in at the near post.
Freddy Moncur and Montel Agyemang were joining the Orient attacks effectively from midfield and the pair both came close to scoring before O’s ‘keeper Sargeant saw his goal come under a flurry of back-to-back Cambridge shots on the 32nd minute.
Having worked some space inside the box U’s captain Hogan’s drilled shot was pushed away by Sargeant but back into the path of the midfielder. Hogan then fired a second attempt that found a way past Sargeant but Sam Ling got back on the line to clear the shot as far as the edge of the penalty area. Cambridge striker Simpson then sent another shot towards goal but Sargeant showed great reflexes to push the ball away before Orient eventually cleared the danger.
U’s pair George Doyle and Hogan then had shots from distance comfortably saved but Orient nearly grabbed a second as the first half reached a close when Harry Andic’s flick from Sam Alderson’s cross forced U’s goalkeeper Josh Banthorpe into making a save.
Orient started brightly after the interval and won an early corner when Koroma’s shot from outside the box was scrambled round the post.
From the resulting corner Orient doubled their lead when captain Ling marked his return by meeting Moncur’s corner at the far post and powering a header beyond Banthorpe.
Following the goal the O’s started to really dictate the tempo of the tie and on the 57th minute Montel Agyemang added his name to the scoresheet. Another Moncur corner caused problems inside the Cambridge penalty area and after Jack Humphrey saw several attempts blocked, Agyemang rifled in his first goal of the season from the edge of the box.
Sargeant had yet to be troubled in the O’s goal since the start of the second half but it became clear he was having a day to savour on the hour mark when Simpson’s deflected shot cannoned back off the bar back to Jordan Brown who headed straight into the Orient goalkeeper’s hands.
Minutes later Orient furthered their lead through midfielder Andic’s close range finish. Banthorpe had managed to push Oladipo’s initial effort across goal but two Cambridge defenders got in each other’s way on the goal line to allow Andic to sweep the ball home from six yards.
With 20 minutes remaining O’s manager Edwards made two changes, bringing on Charley Barker in midfield as well as handing U16s defender Jesse Amoh his first appearance of the season.
Koroma came close to adding a fifth on the 73rd minute but was only able to glance his header on to the post before the Cambridge defence managed to scramble the ball behind for a corner.
With five minutes remaining Andic then had the chance to grab his second of the match having been picked out by Owusu’s pass, but the winger could only power a shot into the side netting as Orient claimed the win to continue their impressive run of form.
CAMBRIDGE: Josh Banthorpe, Frankie Jones (Ryan Yallop 69), Josh Burniston, George Doyle, George Berkes, Owen Boddey, Elliot Hogan (C), Dylan Williams, Jake Simpson, Matt Foy (Justin Leavers 69), Jordan Brown
SUBS: Ben Taylor, Fernando Bell-Toxtle, Elvis Lentell
BOOKINGS: Foy (64), Doyle (86)
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Sam Alderson, Michael Clark, Sam Ling (C), Jack Humphrey (Jesse Amoh 70), Harry Andic, Freddy Moncur, Montel Agyemang (Charley Barker 70), Josh Koroma, Christian Owusu, Shola Oladipo
SUBS: Kane Adams, Aron Pollock
GOALS: Owusu (10), Ling (47), Agyemang (57), Andic (67)