REPORT: LEYTON ORIENT 3-1 WALSALL

Defender Joe Widdowson capped off his 100th O’s appearance with a rare goal as Leyton Orient powered to victory against Walsall at the Breyer Group Stadium. Further goals by Matt Harrold and Conor Wilkinson gave the O’s a 3-1 win.

Ross Embleton named almost an identical line-up to the one that beat Northampton Town last week, the only change enforced by Sam Ling’s injury as Myles Judd came into his place.

After a fairly quiet opening period, Zak Jules went close in the 10th minute as his deflected cross almost caught out O’s ‘keeper Dean Brill but he managed to get down and palm away.

Dale Gorman had earned a second consecutive league start, winning a free-kick on the right corner of the box. Wright stepped up and hit the side-netting with a dangerous-looking effort.

The O’s stepped up their attack in the 17th minute, Wilkinson breaking through the lines and almost found Wright at the near post – the midfielder unable to scramble it home.

Dan Happe went close in the 18th minute as he rose highest from Josh Wright’s corner, his header cleared off the line.

It was a period of real threat for the O’s, Wilkinson working space just 60 seconds later and drilling an effort at goal, forcing a save from Roberts.

However, it was Walsall who opened the scoring through Stuart Sinclair. The dangerous Zak Jules’ cross was pushed out to Sinclair in the box, the midfielder somehow worming his effort through a crowd of O’s defenders on the line.

The O’s had the ball in the net after 25 minutes when Craig Clay poked through to Matt Harrold, who calmly slotted home, but the Assistant Referee had flagged for offside to cut short the celebrations.

Myles Judd came into the Starting XI in place of Sam Ling, who missed out with a groin issue, and sent in a good cross to Conor Wilkinson who headed over.

It wasn’t until the 48th minute when the O’s equalised, the goal coming from Joe Widdowson of all places. The defender capped off his 100th O’s appearance by picking the ball up at the edge of the box and curling an effort with his weaker right foot into the far top corner. The goal-shy full-back celebrated his second career strike with much jubilation.

They almost went ahead in the 58th minute when a good free-kick found Dan Happe behind the defence. The 21-year-old had to generate all the power himself and forced a decent save from Roberts.

However, the turnaround was complete on the hour mark when Craig Clay capitalised on a poor defensive pass and kept his cool to gift-wrap an opportunity for Matt Harrold who duly dispatched.

Conor Wilkinson wrapped up the three points for the O’s in the 75th minute with a clever finish. A long-ball forward was chested into his path by James Brophy, Wilkinson driving across goal before wrong-footing Liam Roberts.

Walsall hadn’t given up hope and went close in the 78th minute as Gary Liddle curled an effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

Conor Wilkinson’s day ended prematurely though as he picked up a red card for an off-the-ball incident. Dan Scarr was booked in the same incident.

The booked defender almost pulled one back for the visitors when he flicked on Norman’s set-piece but it flew just over the bar.

The O’s had to battle throughout the final 10 minutes but battle they did, although Walsall had a golden opportunity in the 90th minute to at least net a consolation but Adebayo spurned from close range.

The final whistle went as the O’s capped off a fantastic victory in the front of the Breyer Group Stadium crowd, their second home win of the season.

LEYTON ORIENT: Brill, Widdowson, Gorman (Marsh 68), Coulson ©, Clay, Wilkinson, Judd, Happe, Brophy (Dayton 90), Harrold (Alabi 83), Wright

SUBS: Sargeant, Maguire-Drew, Dennis, Ogie

GOALS: Widdowson (48), Harrold (60), Wilkinson (75)

BOOKINGS: Harrold (33’), Happe (59)

RED: Wilkinson (80)

WALSALL: Roberts, Clarke ©, Scarr, Sinclair, Kinsella, Holden (Adebayo 68), Guthrie (Norman 64), McDonald (Gordon 68), Liddle, Gaffney, Jules

SUBS: Rose, Sadler, Hardy, Bates

GOALS: Sinclair (21)

BOOKINGS: Scarr (80)

Attendance: 6951 (852)

REF: Ben Toner

Upcoming Fixture:
12th October 2019
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English Football League - League Two
English Football League - League Two
Leyton Orient
Leyton Orient
3 - 1
vs
Walsall
Walsall