Macauley Bonne’s second half penalty was enough to see Orient edge past Boreham Wood 1-0 at the Breyer Group Stadium this afternoon.
Head Coach Justin Edinburgh made one change to the side who began the 2-1 victory over Maidstone United in midweek. Jobi McAnuff returned to captain the side in place of James Brophy who missed out with a hamstring problem.
Orient got the game underway on an overcast afternoon at the Breyer Group Stadium. With three minutes played, Josh Koroma won a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right side of the penalty area but James Dayton’s teasing delivery was punched clear by Ellery Balcombe in the visiting goal.
Moments later, Koroma was at the heart of the action once more. McAnuff found Joe Widdowson on the overlap whose driven cross picked out Koroma but he failed to keep his effort down.
At the other end, Boreham Wood thought they had scored when Angelo Balanta nodded the ball home from a free-kick only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
It had been a high-tempo quarter of an hour with both sides looking to cause problems on the counter attack. A lovely piece of individual play from Koroma in midfield saw him skip past his marker before feeding Macauley Bonne whose powerful drive was beaten away by Balcombe.
On 22 minutes, the lively Koroma tried his luck with a well-struck effort from distance winning a corner that came to nothing. Soon after, he drew another foul to win a free-kick on the right-side but Dayton’s curling delivery was comfortably caught by Balcombe.
With the O’s confidence flowing, Charlie Lee let fly from just outside the penalty area and watched his shot deflected behind. Then, Boreham Wood’s Connor Smith received the first booking of the match after a challenge on Marvin Ekpiteta in the middle of the pitch.
Boreham Wood came close to opening the scoring on 37 minutes when the ball dropped kindly for Joshua Umerah in the area but he dragged his shot wide of the target. Quickly, the O’s won a free-kick at the other end when Jamal Fyfield received a booking for bringing down Dayton but the set-piece came to nothing.
Just a few minutes before the break, Myles Judd collected the O’s first booking of the match after a mistimed challenge on Fyfield midway inside Orient’s half. However, the resulting free-kick fell nicely for Brill who gathered comfortably.
During two minutes of additional time, McAnuff fired a low strike towards goal that was well held by Balcombe before the referee bought the half to a close with the game goalless. It was a positive first 45 for the O’s who had created chances while Koroma had put in a particularly impressive individual display.
The visitors got the second half underway but Orient started the brighter with Dayton driving forward down the right before drilling the ball towards Koroma whose attempt was well blocked by Tom Champion.
Sadly, the O’s were forced into their first substitution of the match on 49 minutes when Josh Coulson picked up an injury and was swiftly replaced by Dan Happe. Shortly after, McAnuff and Widdowson combined nicely on the left before the latter’s cross was headed wide by Craig Clay.
Then, Boreham Wood came close when Ricky Shakes received the ball in space on the right side of the box before firing his shot towards goal only for Brill to deny him with an excellent finger tip save.
With 57 minutes played, chances continued to arrive for both sides. Happe threw himself at McAnuff’s cross but could only divert the ball over the crossbar before Brill was forced to push Smith’s effort behind for a corner.
On 67 minutes, the O’s were awarded a penalty when Koroma was tripped by Shakes on the left-side of the area. After signing a new contract this week, Bonne stepped up and confidently slotted the ball home to give the O’s a 1-0 lead.
After taking the lead, both sets of supporters were in for a nervous final ten minutes as the game began to open up. The O’s made a double change on 87 minutes when James Alabi and Alex Lawless replaced Dayton and Lee for the closing stages.
Orient came close to sealing the points when Clay switched the ball to McAnuff who showed great skill to beat his man before seeing his effort well-saved by Balcombe.
Much to the home fans’ delight, the O’s saw out five minutes of additional time to claim all three points and their second victory in a week.
ORIENT: Brill, Widdowson, Coulson (Happe 49’), McAnuff (C), Clay, Bonne, Dayton (Alabi 87’), Judd, Koroma, Ekpiteta, Lee (Lawless 87’)
SUBS: Sargeant, Ling.
BOOKED: Judd (43’)
GOALS: Bonne (69’)
BOREHAM WOOD: Balcombe, Woodards (Ilesanmi 81’), Ricketts (C), Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Umerah, Murtagh, Fyfield, Smith (Thomas 64’), Balanta (Parry 80’).
SUBS: Ash, Burbridge.
BOOKED: Smith (28’), Fyfield (40’), Stephens (60’)
REFEREE: Christopher Pollard
ATTENDANCE: 3,767 (94 Boreham Wood)