The O’s came from behind as a double from Ollie Palmer saw us come away from Victoria Park with a vital three points.Alberto Cavasin’s side trailed at the break through Josh Laurent’s stoppage time effort, though two goals in the space of six second half minutes from Sandro Semedo and Palmer put Orient in front, before the latter made it three goals in two games to seal a much-needed victory.
The O’s made two changes to the side which lost out 2-1 to Luton Town last weekend, with skipper Robbie Weir returning from suspension and Jordan Bowery was back in the starting XI for the injured Jay Simpson.
On the bench was first-year scholar Sam Dalby, while Victor Adeboyejo featured in the matchday squad for the first time this season. Four of the seven on the bench have come through the O’s academy, while six were aged 20 or under.
The first opportunity of the game in the fifth minute and it came the way of the hosts. Josh Laurent’s chipped ball over the O’s defence found Padraig Amond and his shot was just over the bar.
From the off the O’s were intent on a pressing game, constantly on to their Pools counterparts, and that led to a couple of half opportunities for Alberto Cavasin’s side with one such attempt seeing Bowery’s shot blocked, then subsequently put behind for a corner as Massey delivered a teasing delivery from the right.
However, it was Hartlepool who were to go closer still when Nathan Thomas’ teasing cross from the left was flicked on by an O’s defender into Amond, but his header was agonisingly wide of the target with the home faithful expecting the net to bulge.
The hosts built on that and Laurent sent another attack on its way to Alessandra who beat the offside trap. Out came the O’s goalkeeper Alex Cisak and he did well to cut down the angle and after blocking the attacker’s attempt, the effort cannoned back off Alessandra and behind for a goal kick.
Orient and Ollie Palmer were to go closer still though as Callum Kennedy floated in a deep free-kick to the back post and the striker rose highest to direct his header goalwards, only to be denied by the bar.
Nigel Atangana set up the next attack, playing in Palmer and his low ball in was directed behind for a corner.
Just past the half hour mark the O’s were under serious threat from the hosts, but two vital blocks from Nicky Hunt saw the Pools attacks snuffed out, as the game remained in the balance.
The bulk of the home side’s chances were falling the way of Amond and again he was presented with a good opportunity from Jordan Richards’ right wing delivery, but again the striker was off target with his header.
But right on the stroke of half-time the hosts were to take the lead. Alessandra’s corner in from the right was headed on by Lewis Hawkins at the back post and Laurent was there to tap in from close range, and that proved to be the last action of the half.
No changes were made at the break, but it was the O’s on the back foot early on and only a fine intervention from Parkes prevented Alessandra supplying Amond with another opportunity, while Cisak had to be at his best eight minutes into the half when he got down low to keep out Hawkins’ goalbound header.
For that early pressure, they failed to extend their lead and the O’s took full advantage 10 minutes into the half when Sandro Semedo netted his first league goal for the club. The Portuguese winger was played in down the right and he took one touch before firing past Carson to level matters.
The goal visibly lifted Orient and six minutes later found themselves in front through the boot of Palmer.
Atangana set up the attack before playing in Palmer who linked up well with strike partner Bowery on the edge of the box, before shifting the ball on to his right foot and curling a low effort past the outstretched hands of Carson to put the O’s into the lead for the first time since going 2-1 up on September 10 against Carlisle United.
On the next forage forward the O’s could have doubled their advantage as a lapse pass in midfield from the hosts allowed Massey to pace his way down the left. The former Colchester United man decided to go it alone, cutting in on his right foot before curling an effort into the stand behind the goal.
Confidence was in abundance now for Cavasin’s side and it didn’t take too much longer to open up a two-goal cushion as some more neat link-up play between Massey, Palmer and Semedo saw the latter feed Palmer who took one touch before firing past Carson.
The cards, and tackles began to flow soon after though and in the space of 12 minutes, six players found their way into referee Webb’s notebook.
Hartlepool’s closest attempt to pulling a goal back saw Alessandra curl a free-kick wide, while Ulrich Nnomo almost netted his maiden O’s goal when running through on goal down the left, but saw his shot pushed into the side netting from Carson.
Five minutes stoppage time came and went though and Orient had picked up a vital win on the road.
Hartlepool United: Carson, Richards (Deverdics 87), Nsiala, Donnelly, Carroll, Featherstone, Laurent, Hawkins (Woods 78), Alessandra, Amond (Paynter 68), Thomas.
Subs: Bartlett, Orrell, Harrison, Martin.
Booked: Carroll (73), Alessandra (78), Carson (78)
Goals: Laurent (45+1)
Orient: Cisak, Janse, Hunt, Parkes, Kennedy, Massey, Atangana, Weir (Benedicic 80), Semedo (Nnomo 80), Bowery (Dunne 76), Palmer.
Subs: Sargeant, Adeboyejo, Koroma, Dalby.
Booked: Massey (71), Hunt (78), Benedicic (83)
Goals: Semedo (56), Palmer (62) (71)
Referee: D Webb
Attendance: 3,700 (155 Leyton Orient fans)