Leyton Orient U18s continued their recent fine run of form as they thumped Oxford United 5-0.
Skipper Freddy Moncur got the ball rolling for the O’s on the 21st minute before Shola Oladipo and Sam Alderson added strikes before half time. Oladipo and Alderson then both doubled their tally early into the second half as Orient moved back to the top of the league.
Andy Edwards lined his team up in a 4-4-2 diamond formation which saw Scott Kashket play just behind the forward pairing of Christian Owusu and Shola Oladipo. There was also a welcome return for Ben Card who made his first appearance in the O’s goal since November.
In brilliant playing conditions the match started brightly as both sides looked to pass the ball around and it was Orient who had the first attempt in the seventh minute when Scott Kashket dragged a shot wide.
O’s defender Aron Pollock then created another chance for the hosts moments later having brought the ball out of defence before splitting the Oxford defence with a precise pass for Shola Oladipo who dinked an effort narrowly wide.
Pollock and fellow defender Myles Judd then had their blushes spared as a mix up between the two allowed Adriel George to pounce on the ball inside the O’s box but the forward was unable to take his chance.
Despite the brief scare Orient were looking the more threatening going forward and with 21 minutes on the clock the O’s opened the scoring through captain Moncur.
Kashket showed great footwork to wriggle his way beyond two men down the left and the forward then drilled in a low cross that dropped to the feet of Moncur to slide home his seventh goal of the campaign.
Having broken the deadlock Orient soon added a second four minutes later when Shola Oladipo applied the finishing touch to a fine move down the left which started from a free-kick inside the O’s half.
Kane Adams passed down the line to Christian Owusu who produced a brilliant piece of skill to thread a pass through the legs of the Oxford defender and into the path of Montel Agyemang.
Agyemang then moved the ball forward and passed it on to Kashket who, in similar fashion to the first goal, jinked his way down the left and delivered another low ball across goal to which Oladipo controlled at the back post before tucking away.
Orient were looking increasingly dangerous going forward after extending their lead and Oladipo came close to doubling his tally before Sam Alderson expertly added the O’s third in the 34th minute.
As the O’s looked to find a way into the Oxford penalty area the ball dropped into the path of Alderson 20-yards out in a central position. The midfielder then took two touches to set himself before superbly placing a volley over the head of U’s goalkeeper Eddie Cavanagh and into the roof of the net.
Orient made one change at half-time as Michael Clark replaced Adams and took up a place in the centre of defence as Humphrey moved out to the left.
Having had to be patient in the opening stages of the first half, Orient came flying out of the blocks after the break and Oladipo capitalised on an Oxford error to score his second and the O’s fourth.
With Oxford in possession inside their own half there looked to be little danger until Ben Cook misplaced a pass back to his defence and Oladipo gratefully pounced on the gift to race through and touch the ball to the side of Cavanagh before firing home.
Oladipo had started the second half superbly and two minutes later the striker played a huge part as Alderson doubled his tally for the match.
As the O’s pressured high up the pitch Oladipo poked the ball away from Canice Carroll before Owusu turned away from his man and slid the ball into the path of Alderson who dispatched a first time finish beyond the goalkeeper.
Ben Card was making his first appearance in over four months in the Orient goal and he showed little signs of rustiness in the 53rd minute when he produced a fantastic reflex save to push Jordan Graham’s shot round the post after Orient had been caught out by a quick free-kick.
From the resulting corner Jordan Balogun then missed a great chance to pull a goal back as he was left unmarked six yards out but he could only direct his header over the bar.
Despite the slight lapse after scoring the fifth Orient soon regained their momentum and with 25 minutes remaining Kashket came close to adding his name to the scoresheet only to see his right-footed effort pushed behind for a corner.
Still wanting to extend their lead, Owusu had a shot from the corner of the box parried round the post before Pollock headed wide from the corner that followed.
Humphrey then looked to have added a sixth late on when he connected with a Moncur corner at the back post but the defender was to be denied by Harry Pearson who hacked his effort off the line. With the danger not fully cleared Humphrey then delivered a ball back into the box for an unmarked Moncur who failed to direct his header on target.
The commanding display moves Orient back to the top of the Merit League 2 Division and also maintains their 100 per cent record with three wins out of three.
ORIENT: Ben Card, Myles Judd (Charley Barker 61), Aron Pollock, Jack Humphrey, Kane Adams (Michael Clark 45), Freddy Moncur (C), Sam Alderson, Montel Agyemang, Scott Kashket, Christian Owusu, Shola Oladipo (Josh Koroma 72).
SUBS: Sam Sargeant.
GOALS: Moncur (21), Oladipo (25 & 47), Alderson (34 & 49).
OXFORD: Eddie Cavanagh, Miles Welch-Hayes, Charlie Hawtin, Ben Cook (Charley Tuttle 70), Canice Carroll, Cian McCormack, Jordan Balogun (Harry Pearson 54), Kieran Diaz-Benitez, George Jeacock (John Dennis 70), Adriel George, Jordan Graham.