Leyton Orient U18s showed great resilience to defeat Cheltenham Town 2-1 despite ending the match with nine men.
Kane Adams and Victor Adeboyejo’s first half strikes proved to be enough for the O’s as they clung on for the points despite having both Sam Ling and Jack Humphrey sent off late on.
The O’s went into the tie with three wins out of three and made two changes from the side that defeated Oxford last time out as Michael Clark and Victor Adeboyejo came into the starting XI.
With Academy Director Andy Edwards with the U16s for their trip to Birmingham, Academy Manager Richard Thomas took charge and following a bright start Orient went ahead through full-back Kane Adams.
With the move starting from the edge of the O’s penalty area, Scott Kashket collected the ball just inside the opposition half and beat a man before picking out the run of Adams on the left. After receiving the ball on the edge of the box Adams then claimed his first goal of the season as he arrowed a shot across goal and into the bottom corner.
Buoyed by the goal, Orient doubled their lead moments later as Adams this time turned provider. Under pressure inside his own half, Adams opted to clear his lines and the long ball dropped over the Cheltenham defence and into the path of Victor Adeboyejo.
The 17-year-old, who was making his first appearance for the O’s youth team in several weeks having been away on loan at Royston Town, dealt with the awkward bounce superbly to lob the ball over the goalkeeper and extend the O’s lead.
The two-goal advantage was fully deserved for the O’s going into the break as the side produced an excellent team performance.
After the restart however it was Cheltenham who looked the stronger side and the hosts pulled a goal back midway through the second half to set up a nervy ending.
Looking for a way back into the tie Cheltenham created a number of chances before there was to be a sour ending to the match.
Sam Ling had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes having come on in place of Adams but the O’s substitute was involved in a challenge that resulted in both sets of players coming together.
Once calm had been restored, Ling was shown a red card for the tackle while defender Jack Humphrey was also dismissed along with the Cheltenham goalkeeper for his apparent role in the melee that followed, meaning Orient were forced to see out the final minutes with only nine men.
As a result of the dismissals the O’s were forced to revert to a 4-3-1 formation as Freddy Moncur and Sam Alderson took up the full-back positions, while Myles Judd moved inside to partner Michael Clark in the centre of defence.
Despite being under increasing pressure throughout the closing minutes Orient defended admirably and showed excellent character to claim their fourth successive victory.
ORIENT: Ben Card, Myles Judd, Michael Clark, Jack Humphrey, Kane Adams (Sam Ling 78), Freddy Moncur, Sam Alderson, Montel Agyemang (Christian Owusu 60), Scott Kashket, Shola Oladipo (Patrick Adamson 65), Victor Adeboyejo
GOALS: Adams, Adeboyejo
SENT OFF: Ling, Humphrey