Stunning O's Send Out Message
Leyton Orient showed themselves more than worthy of their position at the top of League 1 with a fantastic 3-1 victory against promotion contenders Peterborough.
Tommy Rowe put the home side in front, turning in from a Grant McCann free kick, but David Mooney equalised for the O’s with a guided effort on the turn.
Orient then produced an electric second half display, with Dean Cox producing a sublime lob, and Mooney grabbing his second with a low drive across goal.
There was little response from Peterborough in the second half, as Orient pushed on and could have added to their lead.
Orient fielded an unchanged side from the one that beat Rotherham last weekend, with Mathieu Baudry still out with a knee injury. Posh made two changes to the team that lost to Colchester United last Saturday.
Despite returning from injury, Lee Tomlin didn’t feature as he was suspended. Danny Swanson and Tyrone Barnett started the game, replacing Paul Taylor who was recalled by Ipswich, and Tomlin.
There were chances for either side in the opening stages. Moses Odubajo showed great pace, with a run down the right from his own area to the opposition box. The winger passed across to Kevin Lisbie, but the in-form striker dwelt on the ball and couldn’t get a clean shot away.
At the other end Jamie Jones produced a great reflex save in the seventh minute to deny Tyrone Barnett, after the striker flicked a McCann corner goalwards.
The O’s soon settled into the game, passing it well and maintaining some good possession.
Orient’s control of the game nearly told in the 23rd minute when Cox produced an acrobatic effort in the box which flew just over the bar, following a poor clearance from McCann.
However McCann soon made amends for his defensive error when he turned provider, producing an in swinging free-kick from the right which Rowe turned in.
The flick from Rowe managed to squeeze into the far corner of the net, just out reach for Jones.
Orient responded well to going behind and nearly equalised when Mooney turned on the spot, and hit a fantastic volleyed effort that beat the keeper but came back off the bar.
It was exactly the sort of response Russell Slade would’ve have been hoping for and the O’s were enjoying another spell of good possession with Peterborough unable to get out of their own half.
Orient’s pressure finally told on 38 minutes when Lisbie, flicked a cross from the right on towards Mooney.
The Irishman again, turned on a sixpence, and found the net with a superb guided effort into the top left hand corner of the net.
Both teams could have gone into the break with the lead, but Lisbie could only direct a Cox cross at the keeper, and Barnett was once again denied by Jones with a low save at his near post.
Orient showed great intensity after the break and took the lead four minutes into the second half.
Mooney headed a loose ball towards Lisbie who guided his header into the path of Cox, and from an acute angle cox the winger lobbed it over the onrushing Olejnik and into the net.
A couple of minutes later, Orient nearly went 3-1 up, as the ever-dangerous Odubajo cut inside and slid a reverse ball into the path of Mooney but his angled effort was just kept out by Olejnik.
Just before the hour mark though the O’s did get their deserved third. A great ball out wide by Cox found Mooney, who took one touch to set himself before firing a half volley across goal giving Olejnik no chance.
Cox nearly got his second and Orient’s fourth in the 66 minute, but his low drive from the edge was comfortably deflected away.
Posh looked deflated and weren’t creating any good opportunities from open play and their best chance of the half came from a McCann free kick.
The midfielder delivered a teasing low cross into the area, but the ball evaded everyone and went harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Orient refused to sit back on their lead and could have had more on the day if it wasn’t for a brilliant performance from Olejnik.
The O’s remain at the top of the table, three points beyond second placed Wolves and six in front of Peterborough in third.
PETERBOROUGH: Olejnik, Ntlhe (Mendez-Laing 54), Zakuani, Bostwick, Swanson (Newell 66), Payne, Assombalonga (Jeffers 78), McCann, Rowe (C), Barnett, Little.
SUBS NOT USED: Day, Alcock, Brisley, Conlon.
GOALS: Tommy Rowe (25)
BOOKINGS: (Newell 75), (Barnett 90).
LEYTON ORIENT: Jones, Omozusi, Sawyer, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Cox (Batt 77), James, Lisbie, Mooney, Odubajo (Bartley 90) , Clarke (C).
SUBS NOT USED: Larkins, Lasimant, Gorman, Stockley, Sutherland.
GOALS: Mooney (38) (58) , Cox (49)
BOOKINGS: Odubajo (37), Batt (81)
REFEREE: M Heywood.