Sotiriou at the double as young O's get back to winning waysA goal in each half from Ruel Sotiriou helped the O’s under-18s get back to winning ways with a 2-1 triumph over Barnet on Saturday.
Sotiriou bagged a first half penalty to send the Orient youngsters into the break ahead, although Barnet levelled matters after the break through a penalty of their own.
However, the O’s secured all three points when Sotiriou slotted home from inside the box 15 minutes from time as Richard Thomas’ side bounced back from their 3-0 defeat suffered against AFC Wimbledon.
Rian McLean made a return to the starting line-up after being recalled from his loan at St Neots, while under-16s Alfie Fleming and Luca Carter occupied the full-back positions and Steven Alzate partnered Sotiriou up front.
After a cagey start, the Bees went closest to breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes when striking the bar with O’s goalkeeper Arthur Janata at full stretch.
Janata was then forced into action to deny the visitors five minutes later, however, the chances were soon to come for Orient.
Alzate played a lovely one-two with skipper Charley Barker, only for the Barnet keeper to just beat the former to the ball.
Sotiriou then forced the Barnet goalkeeper into a solid save as he gathered at the second attempt as Orient began to turn the screw.
Carter’s fine ball into the box found the head of Andrew Camilo-Tayaca which forced the Bees keeper into a good save, before Sotiriou and Alzate linked up superbly before the former saw a shot deflected over the bar for a corner.
The pressure eventually turned into a goal for Thomas’ side when Carter produced another good delivery into the box and Sotiriou was bundled over in the box. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and the striker dusted himself off to slot home the spot kick to give Orient the advantage going into the break.
The second half was little over two minutes old when Orient made a quick breakaway, but they were unable to make the most of it when Camilo-Tayaca saw his shot pushed behind for a corner.
And Thomas’ side were made to rue that opportunity when the Bees were awarded a penalty after Teddy Perkins was adjudged to have tripped a Bees forward in the box.
Janata went the right way, but was unable to keep the effort out as parity was restored on 54 minutes.
Camilo-Tayaca saw a shot well saved three minutes later as O’s looked to respond to the setback, before Sotiriou saw another strike deflected behind for a corner.
The striker appeared to be brought down just after he released the ball, but the referee waved away the strong penalty claims.
Barnet once more went close when striking the bar for the second time in the match, and with the O’s next forage forward, they were to restore their lead.
Barker’s free-kick wasn’t cleared by the Bees and it fell to Sotiriou who took one touch before slotting home at the near post.
Sotiriou’s chances of a hat-trick ended when he saw a strike blocked from close range, and Barnet had one chance late on to ensure a share of the spoils but with space in the box they headed just over the bar, much to the O’s relief.
Deep into stoppage time O’s substitute Toby Stevenson almost opened his goalscoring account for the season with a fierce effort, only to be denied by a fine save.
Orient had done enough to pick up all three points and will look to make it back-to-back wins when making the trip to Luton Town on Saturday.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Luca Carter (Toby Stevenson 80), Alfie Fleming (Charles Clayden 68), Henry Ochieng, Teddy Perkins, Rian McLean, Andrew Camilo-Tayaca, Charley Barker, Ruel Sotiriou, Steven Alzate, Amin Benyoucef (Ernold Haxhiu 88)
SUBS: Mason Hall, Aaron Rowe
GOALS: Ruel Sotiriou (2)