Several senior players, including Joe Widdowson and Brendon Shabani, who both returned from injury, secured some valuable minutes out on the pitch as a mix of experience and youth started for the O’s.
The Dons had taken the lead 16 minutes into the game. A quick dart down the right channel was successful for those in blue. A low cross was met first time by Tommy Wood and the Wimbledon forward calmly side footed past Arthur Janata in the net.
The O’s would respond immediately through Widdowson, who started in the heart of defence with Josh Coulson. The defender drove a left footed shot into the bottom corner from 15 yards after Hector Kyprianou’s delivery bobbled into his feet.
A couple of minutes later the game was turned on its head. Deago Dunbar-Bonnie floated the ball onto the head of Matt Harrold, who nodded in, off the post. 2-1 to Orient after 22 minutes.
The O’s enjoyed attacking down the left flank and came close to adding a third following some great link up play between Jayden Sweeney and Dunbar-Bonnie, which ended in James Dayton’s shot being deflected into the arms of the ‘keeper.
Orient held an aerial dominance over the visitors and Widdowson almost claimed his second of the game. Shabani’s free kick found him at the back post but the senior could only head over before the whistle went for half time.
Wimbledon looked to equalise immediately after the restart, through a route one counter-attack. A long ball over the top found their centre forward who hit the ball first time but straight at Janata, who gathered the ball comfortably.
Orient made a three changes around the hour mark. Shabani and Marfo were replaced by Alex Solomon and Anthony Papadopoulos before goal scorer Matt Harrold made way for Trialist A.
Janata was called into action again, the goalie made a great reaction save to block an effort from ten yards with his leg, as momentum swung in Wimbledon’s favour in the final moments.
Tristan Francois-Vernal came on in place of Dunbar-Bonnie with little over five minutes of the game to play.
Orient: Janata, Marfo, Coulson, Widdowson, Sweeney, Shabani, Kyprianou, Dayton, Harrold, Ifeanyi, Dunbar-Bonnie
Subs: Campbell, Francois-Vernal 83”, Solomon 61”, Papadopoulos 61”, Lovatt, Trialist A 68”
Goals: Widdowson 20” Harrold 22”
Wimbledon: White, Ogundere, Collins, Procter, Biler, Madelin, Currie, Macnab, Olanyian, Wood and Robinson. Subs – Adjei Hersey, Chiabi, Frimpong.
Subs: Adjei, Hersey, Chiabi, Frimpong.
Goals: Wood 16”