Leyton Orient U18s overwhelmed Cheltenham as goals from Dan Happe, Sam Alderson, Michael Clark and Sam Dalby left the young O’s needing only one point from the last two games to claim the league title.
Without Josh Koroma, who had been called up to first team duty, Orient dominated the game from the very get go, with an opening 15 minute spell which could have seen the team 2-0 up early on.
Rian McLean had two great chances from corners but couldn’t find the accuracy on his headers, while Sam Alderson had two decent efforts inches wide.
Returning Steven Alzate was well blocked with a diving header, before Alderson again tried his luck from 20 yards. Sam Dalby fizzed a great ball low along the six-yard box on the counter, but the support wasn’t able to arrive on time with Pat Adamson only a yard away from a tap in.
Cheltenham were able to force a challenging five minute spell but failed to force Orient goalkeeper Sam Sargeant into a save.
Orient soon had the goals they deserved as within two minutes they bagged a double, with Dan Happe producing a perfectly timed leap to head home Alderson’s cross, before Adamson latched on to a loose ball in the box and played it across for a simple tap in for Alderson.
The second half followed in the same vain as the first with Orient peppering the goal. Tristan Abrahams came on at the break for Alzate, and was instantly involved, getting his body in between the defender and the ball before hitting a shot just over.
It was 3-0 soon after, as Clark bagged his second goal in as many games, leaning down low to head home an Alderson cross which had evaded everybody.
Abrahams was again causing issues and this time it lead to a goal. He latched onto a long ball, showing great pace and he waited for the right bounce before hitting a half volley into the far corner, but it was tipped right into the path of Sam Dalby who had an easy poacher’s goal.
Orient didn’t let up as Ruel Sotiriou, Dalby, Adamson and Abrahams all had good chances but found no luck late on.
Academy Coach Danny Webb was proud of the way his team consistently battled throughout the game.
“The first 25 minutes for the standards the guys have set themselves were not great but we could have scored early on, and once the first goal went in our quality and patterns of play that we work on every day shone through and won us the game,” he said.
“We’re in a great position that even when we lose a player, we will miss them, but the quality of everybody else stepping up is there and that’s why we’re top of the league.”
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Rian McLean (Teddy Perkins 77), Dan Happe, Michael Clark, Sam Telling, Henry Ochieng (Ruel Sotiriou 74), Charley Barker, Sam Alderson, Pat Adamson, Steven Alzate (Tristan Abraham 45), Sam Dalby.
SUBS: Sam Roach
GOALS: Dan Happe, Sam Alderson, Michael Clark, Sam Dalby.