The O’s suffered their first defeat of the season as they lost 3-1 away to Leicester City in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup.
Orient displayed a courageous performance in the first half to go in at the break only one goal behind. However, two second half goals from Leicester saw them through to the next round. A penalty late on scored by Tristan Abrahams was all the O’s could take away.
Richard Thomas fielded an unchanged back four after the 3-2 win over MK Dons. Top goalscorer Abrahams returned to the side after serving his one-game suspension, with first year scholar Sam Dalby also taking his regular place in the side.
With the floodlights on at the King Power Stadium both sides enjoyed a fast start to the game, and it was the young O’s who went agonisingly close to grabbing the first goal inside the opening 10 minutes.
Josh Koroma did brilliantly to beat the defender down the right side. His pass back into the box was almost turned in after a goal line scramble. The O’s appealed to the referee that the ball had crossed the line but he denied them the breakthrough.
Kieran Dewsbury-Hall won a corner after his strike from outside the box was deflected and went just wide of Sam Roach’s post. The resulting corner was close to being converted as Calvin Ughelumba’s header hit the crossbar.
On the half hour mark the home side took the lead. A good ball into the box from Kanya Leshabela found Layton Ndukwu who was unmarked able to score from a tap in.
The Foxes dominated the remainder of the half. Simran Thandi had a chance from inside the box but a good save from Roach who was able to get his body in front of the shot.
Ethan Hodby was then denied by the woodwork moments later has his shot found a way past Roach, only to hit the upright before the O’s goalkeeper pounced on the rebound.
The second half started with Leicester continuing to pressure the O’s defence, and Roach was called into action early on as he used his feet brilliantly to keep out the shot from Leshabela from 12 yards out.
Following the chance Orient created an opportunity of their own after Koroma was brought down just outside the area.
Alzate lofted the free-kick into the box and despite Rian McLean only being able to head the ball upwards, Dalby rose highest direct a header towards goal and force Alex Pascanu to get back and clear off the line.
On 72 minutes Thomas’ side fell two goals behind as the Foxes scored in similar fashion to their first. Elliot Webber carried the ball in to the area before cutting it back for Hodby who slotted the ball past Roach and into the bottem left corner.
The O’s made their first substitutions on 83 minutes as Koroma and Henry Ochieng were replaced by Ruel Sotiriou and Charley Barker, though will less than five minutes remaining Dewsbury-Hall made it 3-0 with a precise finish from outside the box.
Orient continued to push for a way back into the tie however and were presented with a brilliant opportunity to pull a goal back when awarded a penalty a minute from time after Abrahams was brought down following a through ball from Dalby.
Abrahams brushed himself down to take the spot kick, and made no mistake by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to register a consolation goal.
With stoppage time remaining the O’s continued to try and reduce the deficit, though it was not to be forthcoming as Leicester became the first side this season to defeat the Orient youngsters – ending a 20-match unbeaten run.
LEICESTER: Yates, Thandi, Ughelumba, Brown, Pascanu, Johnson, Hodby, Dewsbury-Hall, Webber, Ndukwu, Leshabela (Fielding 90)
SUBS: Heaven, Harrison, Templeton, Tee
GOALS: Ndukwu (28), Hodby (72), Dewsbury-Hall (87)
BOOKED: Dewsbury-Hall (52), Webber (65)
ORIENT: Roach, Stevenson, Happe, Perkins, McLean, Adamson (Clayden 89), Ochieng (Barker 83), Alzate, Koroma (Sotiriou 83), Dalby, Abrahams
SUBS: Janata, Camilo-Tayaca
GOALS: Abrahams (90+1 pen)
BOOKED: Happe (45), Dalby (88)