Leyton Orient U18’s continued their winning form in a game of mixed feelings against Northampton Town, as Christian Owusu scored another two goals to add to his impressive start to the season.
Orient were in the ascendency within the first five minutes as Owusu scored his first of what would be a well-taken double.
Steven Alzate drifted a ball into the box which wasn’t cleared well enough by the Northampton defenders and Owusu picked the ball up just on the edge of the 18-yard box and sublimely placed a curling effort to the far post to give Orient the lead.
The O’s continued to push with a second goal looking ever the likely. Victor Adeboyejo was unlucky to be called offside, while Myles Judd almost added another thundering header to his collection after last week’s great header.
Adeboyejo, Owusu and Josh Koroma started to flourish the more Orient had possession, connected with intricate, fast, fluid passing that was opening up the Northampton defence for Adeboyejo to have another great chance.
Northampton finally caused Sam Sargeant trouble in the O’s goal when a late free kick found Callum Westwood unmarked at the back post but he skied the opportunity, meaning the O’s would end the half in front.
Northampton were slowly finding their way into the game in the second period and Robbie Parsons, who was kept very quiet in the first half by Michael Clark, was starting to find joy down the wing and eventually won a free-kick on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick though was put high and wide by Ethan Lamptey.
An equalising goal didn’t look likely until Shaqiuille Master took a pop shot from 20 yards which Sargeant parried straight into Ethan Lamptey who reacted quickest and put the ball away for a simple equaliser.
It could have broken the spirits of the O’s but they fought back and after pushing for a second, they got their just rewards with Owusu latching on to a ball and he rifled it into the goal!
Orient held on for the win, but it wasn’t without thanks to Sargeant who pulled off two incredible saves from close range, diving low to his left on both counts.
After the game Owusu credited his fellow strikers Adeboyejo and Koroma and explained how they worked hard in training and how they’ve carried over from last year.
“I think it’s a bit of both, in training we work together, as there’s four of us (Tristan Abrahams, Adeboyejo and Koroma) we try and link up together and get as many goals as we can. As long as I’m having a good amount of shots and getting in good areas – as last year I was beaten myself up, hoping to get more chances – I’m really happy”.
As for turning the brace into a hat trick he added: “I’ll be working on scoring a hat trick, it will come”.
Speaking with Academy Director Andy Edwards after the game he was more focused on the positives of the game and learning from the limited mistakes.
“I thought it was two very competitive teams. Northampton were very organised like they always are, they played with good spirit,” he said.
“We started the better, and through 20 minutes we were excellent on and off the ball passing it with purpose and pace. We were consistently a threat when the ball was with our front players, but Northampton grew into the game although they never tested our goalkeeper.
“We showed great resilience and spirit and Christian scoring four goals in two games is an amazing return. Like all sides we try to start with a tempo and intensity and we managed to do that. I think we took Northampton by surprise, we have two wide players who are given free licence to come in and attack the goal.”
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Myles Judd, Michael Clark (C), Harlain Mbayo, Aron Pollock (Charley Barker 65), Steven Alzate (Rian McLean 85), Sam Alderson, Henry Ochieng, Josh Koroma (Tristan Abrahams 50), Christian Owusu, Victor Adeboyejo
GOALS: Owusu (2)