access_time 8 months ago

Leyton Orient kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 victory against Barrow AFC at The Breyer Group Stadium.

Both Dan Happe and Dan Kemp netted during a nine-minute spell of dominance in the second half to secure a comfortable home win for Jobi McAnuff’s side.

Interim Manager McAnuff made two changes from the draw with Harrogate Town in mid-week.

Along with Jamie Turley, Louis Dennis returned to the starting eleven for the first time since December, with Sam Ling, and McAnuff himself, the men to make way.

It was clear to see from the open start to the game that both teams were in desperate need of the three points, as we enter this crucial stage of the season.

Dennis created an opportunity for Conor Wilkinson that was well blocked by a Barrow body, before Jamie Turley produced a similarly vital piece of defending to deny Luke James.

The O’s created another decent opening minutes later. A clever dummy from Dan Kemp allowed Wilkinson to cut inside onto his favoured left foot and have a go, his effort was blocked but then fell to Dennis on the edge, whose deflected strike went behind.

Orient’s eagerness to play out from the back almost cost them in the 15th minute, when James capitalised on a loose pass from James Brophy and struck one just wide of Lawrence Vigouroux’s far post.

As the half went on, Wilkinson continued to look the home side’s main threat and he came close to breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute. Hector Kyprianou set the former Gillingham man away, who then showed some neat footwork to create space and flash an effort goal bound that needed to be deflected behind.

The O’s had the ball in the net from the resulting set piece, however referee Christopher Sarginson cut Turley’s celebrations short after he adjudged that there had been a foul on ‘keeper Joel Dixon.

Moments later, Rob Kelly’s men came a whisker away from taking the lead, after Ollie Banks nodded Chris Taylor’s corner wide when it looked easier to score.

It seemed as if the first half was beginning to fizzle out, until Brophy broke into the box and struck one right footed towards goal that just narrowly rose over Dixon’s crossbar.

After a passive end to the first 45, McAnuff’s side ramped it up at the beginning of the second.

Dennis broke away from a Barrow corner and made space for himself inside on the left. He then delivered for Wilkinson, however on his weaker right foot the forward could only force Dixon into a good stop from point blank range.

From the following corner, The O’s took the lead. After it was initially cleared, the set piece eventually fell to Kemp, who stood one up deep towards the back post where Turley was waiting. The centre back then nodded it back across the face which left Happe with the straightforward job of hooking home from close range.

Orient doubled their lead just after the hour mark. Kemp found space on the edge of the area after receiving a pass from Wilkinson, and fired in a low strike that Dixon was unable to keep out.

Immediately afterwards, McAnuff made a double change. The Interim Manager brought himself on in place of Craig Clay, and also replaced Dennis with Nick Freeman.

The away side would have got back into the game were it not for an excellent intervention from Turley. With James lying in wait for a tap in at the far post, the 31-year-old did brilliantly to get something on Banks’ whipped delivery.

A third change followed for The O’s, as McAnuff sought to shore things up. Goal scorer Kemp the player to make way for the more defensive minded Ouss Cissé.

The Cumbrians pushed forward in search of a way back into the game, and they almost found it ten minutes from time when substitute Tom Beadling brought the ball down in the box and struck one just wide on the turn.

Beadling’s effort aside, Orient looked comfortable heading into the final stages, and they made a fourth change two minutes from time as Tristan Abrahams entered the fray in place of Danny Johnson.

Barrow substitute Dimitri Sea hit an acrobatic effort off target, in what proved to be the final incident of note as The O’s held on to record their 18th clean sheet of the season.


ORIENT: Vigouroux, Akinola, Turley, Happe, Brophy, Kyprianou, Clay (McAnuff 64’) Wilkinson, Kemp (Cissé 78’), Dennis (Freeman 64’), Johnson

SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Coulson, Abrahams


GOALS: Happe 52’, Kemp 63’


BARROW: Dixon, Brough, J.Taylor (Beadling 66’), Quigley, Davies, Barry, C.Taylor (Andrew 66’), Eardley, Thomas, James (Sea 78’), Banks

SUBS: Moloney, Brown, Wilson

BOOKED: Brough



REF: Christopher Sarginson