Leyton Orient saw Luton Town come from behind to fall to a 2-1 at Whitbreads Sports Ground. Things got off to the perfect start after Phillips pounced on a perfect Charles Clayden cross, but a goal in each half meant the visitors would be the victors.
Orient took the lead after 15 minutes with some fantastic football from Jaedon Phillips and Charles Clayden.
O’s number 9 held off pressure from The Hatter’s defence before playing a reverse ball into the channel for Clayden to chase. The winger bombed down the left flank before returning the ball to Phillips, who found the net with a left footed tap in.
O’s lead lasted a mere seven minutes. Captain Hector Kyprianiou was booked when he brought down a purple shirt on the edge of the box. Up stepped Sam Beckwith to curl a low free-kick into Rhys Byrne’s near post to make the scores 1-1 after 24 minutes.
The winning goal came just after the hour mark. Josh Neufville’s snapshot from the edge of the box hit the back of the net and was met with the cheers from the away bench. The goal proved to be the difference as Orient’s hunt for an equaliser was unsuccessful.
Wet and windy conditions meant both teams struggled to make clear cut opportunities throughout the game. Following Luton’s equaliser the first half had little else to offer.
Brendon Shabani came closest to reinstating a home lead before the break. The midfielder, was found by Ernold Haxhiu on the edge of the box, but flashed his strike narrowly wide.
Orient came out of the blocks the better side for the second half; the combination for the opening goal nearly found another breakthrough. Clayden once more running in behind the backline, whipped the ball across the six-yard box, inches in front of the boot of Phillips who had the goal at his mercy.
Neufville’s goal came against the run of play but didn’t knock Orient’s confidence. The men in red nearly responded instantly, a Phillips effort was blocked behind for a corner. The resulting delivery was cleared to the edge of the box, where Shabani hit a calculated volley narrowly wide.
Tactical changes saw Orient switch from 4-5-1 to a 3-5-2 in an attempt to push for their second goal. Fresh legs were introduced, with Brian Ifeani and Jordon Adeyemi introduced late into the game to try and make a difference.
The Hatters held on through the final stages of the game, but ultimately came out the other side with all three points. Orient will take plenty of positives from the game, and will go to Barnet next Saturday with intent to come away with a better result.
Following the defeat, Academy Coach Peter Gill reflected upon the game and discussed the squad’s recent form and injury problems.
‘’I thought it was a tough game in tough conditions, the boys have struggled a bit lately. Obviously we’ve got an unprecedented amount of injuries within the group, players out on loan and everything like that so I’m not too worried.’’
‘’It’s a very very young group. It looks like they’ve come out the other side from turning up every week and expecting defeat. They seem to have grown into it really well.’’
‘’As I said to the players in there, games are won in both boxes; I think box to box we’re yet to meet a team that’s outplayed us. However we have probably been ‘naïve’, is the word we’ve used in either box today, and that’s what has cost us the game.’’
Orient’s next fixture is away to Barnet this Saturday with KO at 11:00am.
ORIENT: Rhys Byrne, Kyrell Palmer, Wynford Marfo, Hector Kyprianiou, Anthony Papadopoulous (Jordon Adeyemi 67), Lawrence Hammond, Brendon Shabani, Bradley McClenaghan (Brian Ifeanyi 75), Ernold Haxhiu, Charles Clayden, Jaedon Phillips
SUBS: Tom Mulqueen, Sean Campbell and Sonny Perkins