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REPORT: Leyton Orient 2-0 Gillingham

30 July 2016

First half goals from Jay Simpson and Jordan Bowery saw Orient on top against Gillingham in a game which was brought to a close eight minutes ahead of schedule after a serious injury was suffered by Gills’ Lee Martin.

Bowery opened his O’s account when he slotted home Gavin Massey’s pull back, before Simpson slotted home a penalty after Orient’s new loan signing Harry Cornick was felled in the box.

Just as the game appeared to be ending in an O's victory, Martin fell awkwardly off the playing surface, and after a lengthy delay, play was brought to a close.

The O’s first team was missing several regulars after a bout of illness throughout the week saw the likes of skipper Robbie Weir, Sean Clohessy, Liam Kelly and Callum Kennedy all miss out, with new loan signing Harry Cornick making his first start for the O’s after joining from Bournemouth

It was the hosts who created the first opportunity of the afternoon as skipper for the day Nigel Atangana was able to find Jordan Bowery in attack and though the striker was able to get his shot away, it was wide of the target.

Cornick was lively from the off and after being found by Simpson the winger got a shot away but the scuffed effort was wide of the left hand post.

Although the O’s had started brightly, a lapse in concentration at the back presented Cody McDonald with an opportunity, however, he could only direct his header straight at Alex Cisak.

Cisak was becoming the busier keeper and pulled off a fine save to deny Josh Wright’s curling goalbound effort, before then keeping out another header from McDonald and a Joe Quigley strike from close range.

Another opportunity fell the way of Justin Edinburgh’s side who had worked their way into the game and after a bit of pinball in the box, the Aussie keeper saved with his feet to deny Jake Hessenthaler, son of O’s boss Andy.

Orient had overcome the Gills spell of pressure and in their next attack, they broke the deadlock.

Gavin Massey did well down the right and it was his lay back which found Bowery who swept the ball calmly past Stuart Nelson in the Gillingham goal.

As the half drew to a close it was the O’s who looked more threatening on the attack and some neat attacking play almost resulted in the second as Bowery played the ball across for Cornick but his effort was blocked behind for a corner.

And it didn’t take too much longer as two minutes shy of the break Orient doubled their lead from the spot.

A lovely ball through from Atangana found Cornick who was brought down by Ryan Jackson in the box and Craig Hicks pointed to the  spot. Jay Simpson stepped up and coolly slotted the effort past Nelson.

The O’s started the second half as they ended the first and could have increased their lead even further after a nice break from Cornick.

The loanee played a lovely ball out to Bowery who returned the compliment, however, the winger fluffed the effort and Nelson was able to gather.

Gills almost cut the deficit though on 55 minutes when a ball from the left found Mark Byrne who at full stretch saw his effort fall agonisingly wide of the target.

That brought the game back to life though and the O’s launched another flowing attack as strikers Simpson and Bowery almost combined to good effect with the former playing in latter only to see his strike blocked by an onrushing Nelson.

The flurry of substitutions had the usual effect, but Orient remained on top. Ollie Palmer was inches away from making it 3-0 as he got a glancing header onto Dean Cox’ s pinpoint inswinging ball from the left
However, the game was brought to a premature end after Gills substitute Lee Martin fell awkwardly on the outside of the pitch.

A lengthy delay ensued, and after consulting with both managers, referee Craig Hicks decided to end the game early.

An Orient XI will end their pre-season campaign with a trip to Greenwich Borough on Tuesday night.

ORIENT: Cisak (Sargeant 66), Judd, Erichot, Parkes, Semedo, Massey (Cox 61), Atangana ©, Moore, Cornick, Bowery (Palmer 71), Simpson (Gnanduillet 71).

SUBSTITUTES: Alzate, Doherty, Koroma.

GILLINGHAM: Nelson, Jackson, Ehmer, Oshilaja (Osedebe 46), Hessenthaler (Knott 61), McDonald, Konchesky, Quigley (Donnelly 61), Dack (Martin 46), Byrne, Wright ©.

SUBSTITUTES: Hadler, Oldaker, List, Cundle.