A double from Ruel Sotiriou inspired Leyton Orient to a comfortable 3-0 win away at Stevenage this afternoon.
After the Cypriot Under-21 international gave the O’s a half-time lead, Ouss Cisse doubled the advantage from close range just before the hour before Sotiriou struck again to ensure the victory.
Ross Embleton made just the single change from the side that lost at Crewe in midweek with Lawrence Vigouroux handed his debut between the sticks. There was also a place on the bench for new striker Danny Johnson.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions in Hertfordshire and with Stevenage winning the toss and turning the teams around, Orient had the low sun in their eyes to contend with which the hosts look to take early advantage of.
With just two minutes on the clock Terence Vancooten burst forward down the right for Boro and won a corner which Jake Cassidy met, but headed wide. Charlie Carter was the net to try his luck on 9 minutes, picking the ball up in the middle and evading a couple of challenges before firing in a low effort that Vigoroux did well to turn behind.
After absorbing the early pressure, the O’s then took the lead with their first real effort on 18 minutes. Maguire-Drew found space in the middle of the Stevenage half and advanced on goal but opted to pass rather than shoot. He found Wright who in turn fed Sotiriou inside the box on the right and he blasted across Paul Farman into the far corner for 1-0.
Charlie Lakin went close to an equaliser with 25 minutes on the clock when he fired in a swirling effort that Vigouroux watched carefully before beating it away.
A goal to the good, Orient enjoyed the best of the rest of the first half, controlling the midfield and looking comfortable with anything that Boro tried to create against them.
As half-time approached Graham Westley’s men pushed forward and created the two remaining chances of the opening 45 minutes. Sheffield United loanee David Parkhouse turned smartly on the edge of the Orient box and tested Vigouroux with a low effort, with Dean Parrett then seeing a 45th minute free-kick deflect over the bar.
Neither team made any changes at the break but it was Stevenage who threatened first. Parkhouse was released in space in the right channel and advanced into the box but a perfectly timed tackle from the covering Ekpiteta put the ball out for a corner. Ben Nugent met the resulting set piece but it was comfortable for Vigouroux.
Just before the hour, the O’s doubled their lead. The excellent Craig Clay won a free-kick close to the left corner of the Boro box and whilst Josh Wright’s curling effort looked to be bouncing in, there was Ouss Cisse to add the finishing touch for 2-0.
The travelling Orient fans had barely finished celebrating when they were on their feet again two minutes later. Ross Embleton’s men broke forward down the right channel with Sotiriou and despite having options left and right, took aim and drilled home inside Farman’s near post to give the O’s a three-goal advantage.
Buoyed by their lead, the O’s continued to push forward and look for more goals. Conor Wilkinson shot straight at Farman and Maguire-Drew then went close twice – the first an effort saved by Farman with the second a shot into the side-netting after twisting and turning past Cuthbert.
Sub Lee Angol then had a chance to put the icing on the cake with seven minutes remaining when he ran free of the last defender, but his drilled effort went wide of the far post.
Bar a wild Simeon Jackson effort that troubled the travelling fans behind the goal more than Vigouroux, Orient saw out the rest of the half and six minutes added time to record a comfortable win and an important three points.
Next up for the O’s is a home game against Macclesfield Town next Saturday 8 February, which is our next Kids for a Quid fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.
Stevenage: Farman, Vancooten (Leesley 67), Cuthbert (Jackson 73), Digby, Nugent, Lakin, Dabo, Carter, Parrett, Cassidy, Parkhouse (Kemp 58)
Subs not used: Bastien, Soares, Iontton, Denton
Cautions: Parrett (58), Cassidy (67),
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Marsh, Ekpiteta, Happe, Brophy, Cisse, Wright, Clay (Kyprianou 81), Maguire-Drew (Johnson 71), Sotoriou (Angol 78), Wilkinson
Subs not used: Sargeant, Widdowson, Coulson, Harrold
Goals: Sotiriou (19, 62), Cisse (59)
Cautions: Clay (33), Brophy (47), Wilkinson (96)
Referee: Mr Salisbury
Attendance: 4,357 (no away number provided)