The young O’s were edged out in a 1-0 home loss to Luton in their penultimate Youth Alliance South East Division match of the season.
The O’s went behind early on and despite having several chances in the second half they were unable to find an equaliser.
With many of the second years returning from loan spells, Omer Riza fielded a strong XI including Steven Alzate, Josh Koroma and Rian McLean. However, top goal scorer Tristan Abrahams and Sam Dalby were away with the first-team.
Within the first five minutes Luton were in front though a wonder goal from Jack Snelus, a sweet strike from almost 30 yards.
The O’s playing three at the back responded well with Koroma going close in the first half. He was played in the down left flank by Ruel Sotiriou, using his pace to break away from the defenders and got his shot away. But the shot was soft and easily collected by the goalkeeper.
Riza’s side came out strong in the second half as the boys began playing out from the back. It was good build up play from the team as Sotiriou got a shot away and it produced a good save from the keeper to get down and stop the shot.
Playing out from the back was benefiting the O’s rather than the direct approach they took in the first half. The O’s skilfully worked the ball forward with one touch passing, where the ball eventually found Koroma whose shot went just over the bar.
Sotiriou and Koroma both had good chances for an equaliser with 25 minutes to go with the former seeing another low shot saved after good possession, while a great ball from Andrew Camilo-Tayaca saw a Koroma shot deflected after skilfully controlling the ball in.
Eventually the O’s came to regret the missed chances as Luton held onto their lead and host Dagenham & Redbridge in their final match of the campaign tomorrow, before the focus turns to the semi-final of the Youth Alliance Cup next Saturday against Bournemouth.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Andrew Camilo-Tayaca (Charles Clayden 83), Toby Stevenson, Henry Ochieng, Rian McLean, Teddy Perkins, Charley Barker, Steven Alzate, Ruel Sotiriou, Josh Koroma, Pat Adamson (Ernold Haxhiu 73)
SUBS: Alfie Fleming, Mason Hall, Luca Carter