Semedo blunts Daggers in seven-goal thrillerWinger marks return from injury with late winner to complete second-half comeback
Sandro Semedo marked his first appearance in three months with a late winner to hand Leyton Orient U18s a dramatic 4-3 victory at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.
Having found themselves 3-0 down early on Orient pulled a goal back through Freddy Moncur in the first half. The O’s then produced a fantastic turnaround in the final 20 minutes as Victor Adeboyejo first scored a brace before Semedo smashed home the winner with four minutes remaining.
Last weekend saw Orient claim a comfortable win at Gillingham but the O’s made three changes to their side for the visit of the Daggers.
The O’s welcomed back Freddy Moncur and Victor Adeboyejo who missed out last week through illness and injury respectively while there was a return for Sandro Semedo after a lengthy lay-off. The winger suffered a broken leg at Gillingham back in November but returned to the starting XI on the right of midfield.
It was the visitors who started the better of the two sides and with three minutes played Alfie Moulder curled a shot over from the corner of the penalty area.
Orient were struggling to gather any momentum in the opening stages and fell behind when Daggers’ Jimmy Nottage intercepted a pass out of the Orient defence and picked out the run of Henry Burnett who noticed Sam Sargeant off his line to lift the ball into the net.
Victor Adeboyejo then worked the first Orient chance of the match when he broke into the Daggers’ box but his left footed strike was parried away by goalkeeper Tyler McCartney.
Two minutes later the O’s conceded a second however when Michael Clark was adjudged to have clipped Moulder inside the box and the striker dusted himself off to send Sargeant the wrong way.
Looking to try and get Orient back into the match Sandro Semedo fizzed an attempt wide of the post from distance and minutes later released Adeboyejo down the left who then jinked his way into the box before smashing an effort over the bar.
The hosts were then undone for a third time when Kai Heather picked out the run of Moulder with a ball over the top of the defence and the striker dispatched a first time shot across goal.
With the game looking to be beyond Orient the hosts desperately needed a quick response and got exactly that when Freddy Moncur pulled a goal back a minute later. Semedo tried his luck from distance once again and McCartney could only parry the ball out to Moncur who swept the ball home to hand Orient a lifeline going into half time.
Despite having looked much improved after the interval Orient were let off massively on the 50th minute when Heather again picked out Moulder with a ball over the top but despite the striker rounding Sargeant his touch ran out for a goal kick.
The opportunity came as a huge warning for the O’s if they were to get back into the tie and Sam Ling responded by forcing McCartney into pushing a header behind from a Moncur corner.
From the following corner Dagenham could only clear it as far to Montel Agyemang on the edge of the box and the midfielder brought it down well before sending a powerful shot narrowly over the bar.
The hosts were looking increasingly dangerous from corners and Ling was again denied with a header at the back post before Orient reduced the margin to one goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Half time substitute Kane Adams ventured forward down the left and whipped in a cross that dropped to the feet of Moncur in a crowded penalty area. As the midfielder arranged his feet he looked to be caught but on his way down managed to clip the ball goalwards and Adeboyejo was on hand to nod the ball in from close range.
Sensing a way back into the tie Orient continued to throw men forward and both Moncur and substitute Nick Brown came close with efforts before Semedo saw a 25-yard right footed effort clip the bar on its way over.
The O’s did not have to wait much longer for an equaliser however as Adeboyejo grabbed his second with 77 minutes on the clock after Brown had threaded a wonderful pass in between the Daggers’ defence. After receiving the pass in the penalty area Adeboyejo knocked the ball round McCartney and settled himself before calmly sweeping the ball in from a tight angle.
Not wanting to settle for a point Orient showed no signs of easing up on the attacking front as the tie became increasingly open and with four minutes remaining the hosts completed their four-goal comeback.
Another Moncur corner caused havoc inside the box and after Ling’s header had caused a scramble, Semedo was on hand to cap off his return to action by rifling the ball into the net from 12-yards. It was no less than the winger deserved for his performance and the 86th minute strike sealed back-to-back wins for the O’s who remain at the top of the Merit League Division 2.
Speaking after the game academy director Andy Edwards said: “I thought that our first half performance was very poor, which I think the lads accepted at half time. The goal before half time gave us something to play for and we came back out with a better attitude, a better desire and got ourselves back in the game.
“We changed our shape to match their diamond which I think worked better for us and full credit to the players for their second half performance. They showed good character, kept going and in the end they got their rewards,” he added.
Edwards also expressed his delight to see Sandro Semedo return from injury, saying: “It was Sandro’s first game since breaking his leg three months ago and I thought he was excellent. He got stronger as the match went on and he fully deserved to get the winning goal. It was great to have him back out on the pitch and a lot of credit goes to Rob Lee for the work he has done with him over the time he has been out injured. He has spent a lot of time with him and it looks like he has come back even stronger than he was before.”
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Sam Alderson, Sam Ling (C), Michael Clark (Kane Adams 45), Jack Humphrey, Sandro Semedo, Freddy Moncur, Montel Agyemang, Shola Oladipo, Christian Owusu (Nick Brown 62), Victor Adeboyejo
GOALS: Moncur (34), Adeboyejo (70 & 77), Semedo (86)
BOOKINGS: Sargeant (80), Ling (81)
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE: Tyler McCartney, Ayo Olukoga, Jimmy Nottage, Kai Heather, James Fitchett (David Nicol-Wilson 45), Lewis Clark (C) (Jimmy Shepherd 45), Alfie Moulder, Darren Foxley, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, Henry Burnett, Lee Hursit (Jordy Mongoy 77)
SUBS: Joe Carter
GOALS: Burnett (14), Moulder (22 pen & 33)