A young Orient side made the trip to the Maldon Stadium, though first-teamers, Sam Sargeant, Shad Ogie, Jayden Sweeney, Matt Young and Anthony Papadopoulos all featured.
It was the Swifts who had the opening chance of the match from a corner. Orient managed to clear their lines but the home side recycled the ball, and a looped pass over the top found the Swifts’ number nine who fired over with the goal at his mercy.
Orient’s first real effort on target proved to be a very special goal. 30-yards out, midfielder Matt Young curled a spectacular free-kick into the top corner to put the O’s in front.
The hosts looked to pull themselves level immediately, again, making a nuisance of themselves from a corner. A whipped ball fell onto the head of Jack Humphrey, but the defender could only nod over the crossbar.
Ten minutes before the break, the O’s created a couple of half chances. Shad Ogie’s glancing header was cleared by the opposition defence, before Harrison Sodje had the ball taken from his feet by goalkeeper Callum Chafer, after a brilliant solo run into the area.
Adeyinka Cole equalised with eight minutes of the half to play. A lob over the top beat the Orient backline and Cole pounced to fire home the leveller.
HALF-TIME: Heybridge Swifts 1-1 Leyton Orient XI
The second-half was a much cagier affair. With both sides making changes, the match struggled to find any rhythm.
Orient did craft an opening before the hour mark. A smart move got the O’s into the opposition penalty area, but Anthony Papadopoulos couldn’t get his shot past his marker, who made a vital block.
Matt Harrold and Brian Saah made a couple of changes after 63 minutes, in a bid to freshen things up. Zech Obiero and the trialist made way for Antonio Clements and another trialist.
The changes certainly made a difference, as the O’s started to knock the ball about more comfortably, having surrendered a large majority of possession in the second-half to Heybridge.
Jephte Tanga set up the trialist for his first shooting chance, but after creating a yard for himself with a nice faint, he could only strike the ball over the bar.
Charlie Pegrum was introduced from the bench and the number 16 immediately made an impact. He found Tanga in space, but again, Orient failed to hit the target.
The O’s snatched victory with their final opening of the game. Jayden Sweeney, who captained his team, played Pegrum into the left channel and his low cross was right on the money – finding the trialist, who took one touch, before hammering ball into the back of the net.
Heybridge Swifts: Chafer, McFadden (Trialist 62’), Claridge (Trialist 46’), Topley, Trialist (Adlington-Pile 70’), Humphrey (Trialist 67’), Trialist, Cole, Teniola (Walker 78’), Trialist (Adeyemi 78’), Osei-Owusu (Trialist 70’)
Goals: Cole 37’
Leyton Orient XI: Sargeant, Kwatchey, Sodje, Sweeney, Trialist (Clements 63’), Papadopoulos, Young, Obiero (Trialist 63’), Tanga, Clarke* (Pegrum 87’)
Bench: Byrne, Ojo
Goals: Young 13’ Trialist 90’
Booked: Trialist 31’ Kwatchey 71’