Dominant second half display puts Orient into the next round
A dominant second-half display gave Orient a comfortable 3-0 victory at AFC Totton in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
The O’s dominated proceedings from start to finish but had to be patient at times before there eventual quality shone through against a plucky Totton side who gave a good account of themselves.
It was the second half where Andy Edwards’ side killed the game with a deserved strike from Scott Kashket and two composed finishes from Josh Uzun giving the O’s a 3-0 win in Hampshire.
Orient started brightly and looked lively in attack with Alex Finney twice stepping out of defence and finding Sinclaire Sandy with raking long passes, though Ryan Howarth in the Totton goal had a relatively quiet opening ten minutes.
It was Totton that had the first chance of a note however when a long ball found Zac Mouland in the box and the Stags forward wrestled free of his marker but dragged a shot wide.
Finney continued to impress with his range of passing but the O’s had to wait until the 16th minute when Sandy cut inside to square for Josh Uzun who opened up to shoot but struck straight at Howarth.
The chance settled Orient and the on-looking Russell Slade will have been impressed with the quality of the move that created their next chance as the O’s worked it down the left before Uzun cut back for Scott Kashket to shoot but his effort was well saved by Howarth.
Orient looked more fluid and a great passing move through the middle on 24 minutes saw the same two combine this time for Uzun to shoot inches wide from the edge of the box.
Totton were content to sit back with just one up front and allow Orient to force the issue with the captain Charlie Grainger becoming a spectator for long periods of the half, only really being called into action to take goal kicks, which the O’s looked to play out from the back.
The O’s patience almost paid off with 35 minutes on the clock when the lively-looking Kashket showed excellent close control to bring a loose ball down and get a shot away that brought the best out of Howarth.
Seven minutes later Kashket went close again when a curling free-kick from Freddy Moncur was headed down by Andys Nikolaou but the forward sliced his effort over, whilst Jack Humphrey also went close from a set-play as the sides headed into the half-time break level at 0-0.
The home side had adopted a physical approach throughout and early into the second period the O’s were discontent with a decision by the referee after Grainger spilled a cross when he appeared to be heavily challenged, and play was allowed to continue with the home side almost turning the loose ball home.
Orient stuck to their passing approach and ten minutes into the second half produced a move of real quality as they worked the ball in tight areas from right to left before Lawson Okimeji got a shot away that was well saved by Howarth.
The chance clicked Orient into gear as they launched wave after wave of attack on the Stags’ goal with Totton’s chances restricted to set-plays as Grainger was called into action for the first time on 66 minutes to save a free-kick.
Orient soon got their reward though when Howarth spilt a cross from the left that dropped kindly for the impressive Kashket to turn the loose ball home into the unguarded net.
The goal knocked the wind out of Totton sails and the O’s side wasted no time in doubling their lead. Sam Ling showed great feet in the middle of the park to release Moncur who in turn found Kashket in the channel. The forward hit a low cross that was collected by Uzun who remained calm to take a touch before slamming the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner.
Moncur almost wrapped things up two minutes later when he drilled a shot narrowly past the upright after more good work from Uzun and Kashket.
Kashket then brought the best out of Howarth after a back-heel from Sandy before Nikolaou had a header scrambled off the line from the resulting corner.
With two minutes left Uzun put the game to bed after good work from Humphrey and Aygemang carved an opening for the forward to lash a shot in the bottom corner from the left channel as Orient booked a trip to Swindon in the second round.
Orient: Charlie Grainger (C), Sam Ling, Jack Humphrey, Lawson Okimeji, Alex Finney, Andys Nikolaou, Freddy Moncur (Nick Brown 90), Montel Aygemang, Sinclaire Sandy (Shola Oladipo 90), Scott Kashket (Christian Owusu 90), Josh Uzun
Subs not used: Kane Adams, Robert Mensah
Goals: Kashket 67, Uzun 73, 88
Bookings: Finney 64, Humphrey 70
Totton: Ryan Howarth, Ben Underwood, Andrew Bridge, Josh Chapman (Kieran Chalmers 75), Jack Dawkins (C), Matt Hunt, Matt Randell, Josh Jellis (Ben Ninnim 38), Jake Burgess, Zac Mouland (Dillon Smith 81), Toby Chestr
Subs not used: Charlie Wagstaffe, Albert Egboh
Bookings: Underwood 8
Referee: Mark Greenwood