Leyton Orient U16s continued their fantastic season by defeating AFC Bournemouth to reach the National Category 3 cup final.
The young O’s got off to a promising start to the match but saw early efforts from Tristan Abrahams and Steven Alzate well saved.
Despite dominating the opening exchanges Orient were dealt a blow midway through the first half when when Bournemouth took the lead after racing on to an under-hit back pass and sliding the ball beyond Sam Roach.
Orient responded well to falling behind however and created a number of attempts before seeing strong appeals for a penalty waved away at the end of the half when Josh Koroma appeared to be pulled down inside the box.
Danny Webb’s side came flying out of the blocks after the break and with only minutes of the restart Abrahams had a shot pushed over the bar.
Jonathan Burtonshaw and Charley Barker then both came close for the O’s in quick succession before Orient grabbed a deserved equaliser with just under an hour played when Rian McLean cleverly glanced Dan Happe’s free kick into the bottom far corner.
Buoyed by the equaliser and dominating the play, Orient went in search for a second and took a deserved lead six minutes later when Josh Koroma rifled home a shot from 20-yards.
Bournemouth threw bodies forward in the hope of taking the tie to extra-time but as the match entered stoppage time Orient booked their place in the final when Koroma slotted home his second of the afternoon after good work from Burtonshaw to win possession back high up the field.
Speaking afterwards, a proud U16s coach Danny Webb said: “To make it this far is already a fantastic achievement and now the lads have the chance to potentially face Premier League opposition in the final. They are a great group of players to coach and are developing well.”
Once confirmed, we will bring you full details of the final on www.leytonorient.com
ORIENT SQUAD: Sam Roach, Jesse Amoh, Myles Judd, Dan Happe, Sam Telling, Steven Alzate, Charley Barker, Henry Ochieng, Pat Adamson, Josh Koroma, Tristan Abrahams, Jonathan Burtonshaw, Rian McLean, Jay Beckford, Andrew Tayaca
GOALS: Rian McLean (58), Josh Koroma (64 & 90)