O's U18's put the Daggers to the swordLeyton Orient U18’s produced a commanding team performance to defeat local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge 4-0.
Following a goalless first half, Orient took the lead through Steven Alzate’s fine solo goal before Christian Owusu grabbed a second with a thunderous strike into the roof of the net.
Victor Adeboyejo then added a third with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area before substitute Charley Barker sealed the victory late on with a similar precise finish.
For the short trip Academy Director Andy Edwards made one change to the side that drew against Barnet the previous weekend, as Tristan Abrahams came in for Sam Alderson.
In wonderful sunny conditions the O’s could have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes when Josh Koroma combined well with fellow winger Tristan Abrahams, but the latter could only direct his shot over the bar.
That was to be the only effort during the early exchanges however as both sides contested a hard-fought battle in midfield, and it was the hosts who created the next chance when Reeco Hackett-Fairchild latched onto Darren Foxley’s pass but was unable to prevent his effort from sailing over.
As the half wore on both sides continued to cancel each other out and it was not until ten minutes before the break that O’s goalkeeper Sam Sargeant was to make his first save when he comfortably held Charlie Holmes shot.
Directly after the O’s then responded by hitting the Daggers on the counter but midfielder Steven Alzate also saw his shot held following Koroma’s lay-off.
Orient full-back Myles Judd was proving a good outlet down the right and moments later he was involved in another attack as he had an effort saved from the edge of the penalty area.
Hackett-Fairchild was then presented with a chance to give Dagenham the lead moments before the interval when he worked some space in the O’s penalty area, but he failed to make the desired contact as he ballooned his shot.
Following the half-time break it was Orient who looked the more threatening and with 53 minutes played they broke the deadlock.
Alzate was given the freedom of the Daggers half to bring the ball forward and as he continued to be left with time and space, the midfielder then entered the penalty area before arrowing a shot across Tyler McCartney and into the bottom far corner.
Having made the breakthrough Orient then made a double substitution as Charley Barker and U16s attacker Michael Obafemi, who was making his first youth team appearance, replaced Koroma and Abrahams.
Obafemi was to make an instant impact as he then played a huge role in the O’s second goal of the match.
After showing an explosive change of pace to beat several Dagenham players to the ball down the right, the forward then picked out Christian Owusu with a cross to the back post.
Owusu then continued his wonderful start to the season as he took several touches before emphatically smashing in his sixth of the season with a shot that flew into the roof of the net.
Following the second goal Dagenham hoped to find a way back into the match but there was to be no joy as the O’s defence of Judd, Michael Clark, Aron Pollock and Sam Telling confidently dealt with anything in their way in what was an impressive defensive showing.
With just less than 20 minutes to play Obafemi nearly capped his first appearance with a deserved goal as he acrobatically volleyed Owusu’s header back across goal, but he was denied by superb save from McCartney.
Orient did not have to wait much longer for their third of the day however as striker Victor Adeboyejo registered his first of the season less than a minute later.
After regaining possession just inside the O’s half midfielder Henry Ochieng clipped a delightful ball into the path of Adeboyejo who took it in his stride before composing himself and bending a left-footed shot into the corner.
Adeboyejo then came close to adding a second but his curled effort from outside the penalty area flew agonisingly wide.
As the match approached the closing minutes Orient then sealed the win through midfielder Barker when he received a pass from Owusu 18-yards out before perfectly placing a shot beyond the reach of McCartney.
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Myles Judd, Michael Clark (C), Aron Pollock, Sam Telling, Josh Koroma (Charley Barker 56), Steven Alzate (Pat Adamson 73), Henry Ochieng, Tristan Abrahams (Michael Obafemi 56), Christian Owusu, Victor Adeboyejo
SUBS: Sam Alderson, Rian McLean
GOALS: Alzate (53), Owusu (61), Adeboyejo (72), Barker (89)