The O’s survived a Luton Town comeback thanks to a second half Sam Dalby brace as they picked up a 5-3 victory.
The young O’s made an emphatic start to the game, with Tristan Abrahams opening the scoring less than two minutes on the clock. Josh Koroma produced a fine run down the left flank, before playing in Pat Adamson, who then found Abrahams. His initial shot was saved but he made no mistake in converting the loose ball.
Richard Thomas’ side were determined to assert their dominance in the opening stages and within five minutes had doubled their lead. Koroma was again involved as he held up the ball well and timed the pass to Abrahams perfectly to set him through on goal. Abrahams used his pace to break away from the defence and slotted his shot past the goalkeeper.
A dream start for the O’s continued and with 18 minutes they were 3-0 up. Adamson’s floated free-kick into the box found Dan Happe who rose highest to head home off the underside of the bar.
The visitors pulled a goal back soon after though as Scott Belgrove scored from 30 yards. Arthur Janata seemed to have the shot covered but the pace on the ball meant he could only parry the effort and the ball spilled into the bottom of the net.
Within minutes, Belgrove scored another when his shot deflected off of Happe and gave Janata no chance in the O’s goal.
The O’s managed to hang on to their one-goal lead at half time, but 10 minutes after the break Luton had equalised as Geo Craig converted from inside the box – the first time they had squandered a lead all season.
After losing a three-goal led the O’s made a change with Dalby replacing Andrew Tayaca to partner Abrahams up front, and the swap worked to good effect.
Dalby had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he put the O’s back in front with his first touch. Toby Stevenson put in a long cross from the left and Dalby was positioned perfectly to flick the ball out of the reach of the goalkeeper and into the net.
The game seemed to be over on 70 minutes as Dalby doubled his tally and gave the O’s a two-goal advantage. The goal was almost identical to his first with the ball in from Stevenson and Dalby taking the shot first time to beat the keeper in the same bottom corner.
The O’s saw the game out and maintained the two-goal lead. Credit must go to the mental strength of the young player after initially losing a three-goal advantage, to still compete and come out on top after the 90 minutes.
Next up for the O’s is their first FA Youth Cup game of the campaign, with a trip to Southend Untied on Wednesday night, 7.30pm kick off at Roots Hall and the O’s will be looking to repeat the two-goal victory they picked up against them in the league.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Andrew Tayaca (Sam Dalby 61), Toby Stevenson, Henry Ochieng, Dan Happe, Teddy Perkins, Steven Alzate, Rian McLean, Tristan Abrahams (Ruel Sotiriou 85), Josh Koroma, Pat Adamson
SUBS: Sam Roach, Ernold Haxhiu, Elliot Usher
GOALS: Abrahams (2), Happe, Dalby (2)