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REPORT: St. Albans 1-1 Leyton Orient

24 July 2018

Orient continued their pre-season preparations with a tough draw with St.Albans, at Clarence Park on Tuesday evening.

Josh Koroma opened the scoring at Clarence Park when he scored his seventh of pre-season before Sam Mersons' late first-half penalty drew the hosts level. Orient had chances to take the lead for the second time through Macauley Bonne and George Elokobi but were unable to make them count.

Justin Edinburgh opted for a squad of five changes including which included starting places for central defensive pairing Josh Coulson and George Elokobi.

St. Albans kicked off but failed to capitalise on an early corner when Josh Koroma countered down the right and dragged the ball back for James Brophy whose shot was blocked before the hosts cleared the danger.

After an end-to-end first ten minutes, the O’s took the lead through Koroma who notched his seventh in pre-season when he intercepted a loose back pass, rounded the ‘keeper and slotted in to an empty net.

Orient should’ve doubled their lead when Koroma’s through ball found Macauley Bonne free inside the box before the forward was flagged for offside.

Bonne then had another chance seconds later however, James Alabi knocked down James Brophy’s cross but the ball bounced too high for the Zimbabwean forward as he struck over the target.

Just as the O’s began to look comfortable Khale Da Costa forced his way in to Dean Brill’s box and went down under the combined challenge of Myles Judd and Koroma. The referee awarded the hosts a penalty which was calmly converted by Sam Merson.

Da Costa intercepted a loose Orient pass and switched play to Merson on the right who advanced in to the box and forced an excellent save out of Brill as the half time whistle sounded.

The hosts started the second-half the busier of the two sides with a lot of possession in the O’s half. James Dayton replaced Koroma after 50 minutes of play before Trailist A for St.Albans saw his first time effort flash wide of the target after he escaped the back-line.

Alabi looked for a way back in for the O’s when his cross to the back post met by Dayton flew across the face of goal before the forward man curled an effort wide of the target himself moments later.

More pressure from the O’s forced multiple corners and Elokobi came closest to goal when he met Dayton’s cross at the near post but couldn’t keep his header under the crossbar as 70 minutes appeared on the clock.

After two shouts for hand-ball inside the box, newly introduced Alex Lawless saw his volley tipped excellently ove the bar by the St.Albans 'keeper in the dying moments.

Despite continued pressure from the visitors the hosts were firm at the back and defended well to see the game end a goal a piece. 

 

ST. ALBANS: Russel, Herd, Bender, Noble, Kiangebeni, Tingey, Da Costa, Sambou, Merson, Moyo, Percil

GOALS: Merson (34)

 

ORIENT: Brill, Judd (Lee 79), Coulson, Elokobi, Ling, Koroma (Dayton 52), Clay, McAnuff (C), Brophy (Lawless 70), Bonne, Alabi

GOALS: Koroma (14)

 

ATTENDANCE: 428


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