A second half David Amoo goal condemned Leyton Orient to a narrow 1-0 defeat on the road at Port Vale this afternoon.
After seeing off considerable early pressure from their hosts, the O’s gradually came into the game and Josh Wright was denied from close range in the best chance of the first half. George Marsh saw a second-half effort headed off the line as the visitors went close again, but Amoo’s low shot with 19 minutes remaining put the Valiants ahead. Orient piled on the pressure in the closing stages of the game but couldn’t force an equaliser and came away empty-handed.
Ross Embleton made just the single enforced change from the starting XI that secured a late draw against Grimsby Town, with Myles Judd stepping in for the injured Jamie Turley. There were two changes to the bench however with new arrivals Lawrence Vigouroux and Ousseynou Cisse coming in.
Port Vale came out of the blocks flying at Vale Park and were it not for Sam Sargeant, would have been ahead inside two minutes. The ball was worked into the box from the right and midfielder Will Atkinson suddenly found himself with only the ‘keeper to beat, but Sargeant stood firm.
The hosts kept up the early pressure with David Worrall directing a back-post header wide of the far post four minutes later and then Nathan Smith’s header going straight down Sargeant’s throat.
After weathering the early storm, the O’s started to push forward and created their first chance of the game on 11 minutes. Good build-up down the right by Lee Angol saw him take on his man and drive the ball across goal for Josh Wright, whose touch gave ‘keeper Scott Brown the opportunity to come out and block his goalbound prod.
Eight minutes later a fantastic recovery tackle from Dan Happe thwarted a clear run on goal for David Amoo and actually set the visitors on the counter. Maguire-Drew advanced down the left flank and whipped in a great cross which Angol met, only for Brown to save with the offside flag raised anyway.
Port Vale directed most of their first half play towards Amoo and after the winger saw one back post header saved comfortably by Sargeant, he nearly turned creator just before the break when he twisted and turned past Brophy and crossed to the back post, only for excellent defending by Myles Judd to head the danger clear.
There were no changes at the break for either side but it was Orient who created their best chance of the game six minutes into the second half. A break down the right saw Angol feed Maguire-Drew and when the winger’s cross was collected by Marsh, the Tottenham loanee fired a left-footed curling effort over the ‘keeper but saw it headed off the line. Successive corners followed for the visitors as they kept up the pressure but without reward.
Just before the hour a poor clearance from Brown saw Wright lay the ball into Connor Wilkinson and the striker took aim from 25 yards but dragged his shot wide.
A late, high challenge by Myles Judd on the hour earned the full-back a yellow and riled the home crowd, who were then off their seats in anticipation as Mark Cullen saw a low shot saved by Sargeant, before Worrall sliced over.
Ross Embleton made a double-sub with just over 20 minutes remaining as Craig Clay and Ousseynou Cisse came on for Myles Judd and Hector Kyprianou, with George Marsh dropping to right-back.
However with 71 minutes on the clock the hosts scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Orient’s defence cleared an initial corner well, only for the goal to be recycled back into the box where Amoo took a touch and drove the ball back across Sargeant into the far corner for 1-0.
Sub Tom Pope saw a header saved comfortably by Sargeant with seven minutes remaining as the hosts looked to secure all three points, but instead it was the O’s who piled forward in the closing stages and looked more likely to find the back of the net.
After Matt Harrold – himself on for Angol – won a free-kick inside the Vale half with three minutes remaining, a quickly-taken set-piece set Brophy free and his cross looked to be looping over Brown only for the ‘keeper to claw the ball away to safety.
Five minutes of added time were signaled in which the O’s went close on three occasions to grabbing an equaliser. Wilkinson saw a curling effort tipped over by Brown, Matt Harrold was denied a penalty for what looked like a clumsy defensive challenge moments later and then Wilkinson’s cross was met by Maguire-Drew in the dying seconds, only for the winger to drag his shot wide.
Referee Salisbury blew his whistle moments later as the Valiants claimed all three points and left Orient to regroup ahead of Tuesday night’s reschedule home game against Northampton Town. Tickets for this game can be purchased at www.onlyoneorient.com.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Legge, Smith, Montano (Evans 83), Joyce, Atkinson (Conlon 80) Burgess, Amoo, Worrall, Cullen (Pope 80)
Subs not used: Browne, Bennett, Brisley, Maddison
Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Judd (Clay 68), Coulson, Happe, Brophy, Marsh, Wright, Kyprianou (Cisse 68), Wilkinson, Maguire-Drew, Angol (Harrold 78)
Subs not used: Vigouroux, Dayton, Sotiriou, Ekpiteta
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 5,047 (327 away)