O's U18's suffer late heartbreak despite gutsy comeback
An injury time penalty from Giorgio Rasulo condemned a brave Leyton Orient U18’s side to a 4-3 defeat away at MK Dons on Saturday. The O’s had recovered from a 2-0 and 3-1 deficit to leave themselves on the verge of their first point of the season after Solomon Ducos brought his side level with only four minutes of normal time remaining, only for Rasulo to convert from 12 yards with virtually the last kick of the game.
Things did not start too well for Orient, as the home side were awarded a penalty after just five minutes of play after Jon Osae was upended in the box by midfielder Shola Oladipo. The same player duly stepped up to send goalkeeper Ben Bridle-Card the wrong way and give his side an early lead.
Despite the worst possible start for the O’s they immediately began to look for a route back into the game with Josh Uzun forcing Charlie Burns into a smart save following good wide play from Oladipo. However it was the Dons who doubled their lead in the 27th minute as Rasulo grabbed his first goal of the game. The striker controlled a looping pass before firing past Bridle-Card moments after his free kick had struck the bar.
With just four minutes of the half remaining the visitors found a route back into the game through Elyon Egbeku. Uzun’s superb pass released Sinclaire Sandy, but after the Orient Midfielder had seen his effort parried by Burns, Egbeku was on hand to react quickest and bundle the ball home, offering Orient hope going into the break.
With 11 minutes of the second half gone MK Dons restored their two-goal advantage through Kelvin Osei-Addo. The attacker raced on to a long ball that the Orient defence failed to deal with before rounding Bridle-Card and slotting home into an empty net.
With just 15 minutes of normal time remaining Orient pulled the score back to 3-2. Substitute Ducos combined well with Egbeku, and the latter duly raced away from the home defence and slotted his strike past Burns for his second goal of the game. And with 86 minutes on the clock the O’s were rewarded for their continued battling as Ducos made it 3-3. The striker had been a constant thorn in the opposition’s side with his physical presence, and he did fantastically well to find room in the box before dispatching his left-foot drive past a hapless Burns, seemingly rescuing a much-deserved point.
But in the sixth minute of added time came heartbreak for Orient as the referee awarded MK Dons their second penalty of the game. After showing great determination to track the run of Rasulo, Egbeku lost his footing in the box, unwittingly bringing down the forward. With virtually the last kick of the game Rasulo stayed calm to send his penalty into the roof of the net and inflict a cruel defeat on the O’s.
Captain Alex Finney summed up the mood in the dressing room after the game. The defender remarked: “Todays defeat was heartbreaking, especially knowing that we’d drawn level. To lose the game in the last minutes of added time makes it difficult for the boys to swallow. We came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down, so that shows that everyone in this squad wants to win.”
Orient: Ben Bridle-Card, Sam Ling, Jack Humphrey, Alex Finney (C), Adnis Nikalou, Lawson Okameji, Sinclaire Sandy (Solomon Ducos – 43), Josh Uzun,
Cameron Kelly (Freddy Moncur – 62), Shola Oladipo (Kane Adams – 77), Elyon Egbeku. Subs not used: Kevin Kwarteng
Goals: Egbeku (41, 75), Ducos (86)
Bookings: Humphrey, Oladipo
MK Dons: Charlie Burns (C), Jacob Daffern, Jon Osae, Aaron Weston, Luke Tingey, Ben Grant, Ben Tilney (Kabongo Tshimanga – 67), Kyran Wiltshire, Giorgio Rasulo, Will Summerfield (Laurence Vaughan – 84), Kelvin Osei-Addo. Subs not used: Ben Taylor, Gedeon Okitu
Goals: Osae (5’Pen), Rasulo (27, 90+6’ Pen), Osei-Addo (56)