The O’s snatched three points in a late victory over Barnet in the Merit League Two on Saturday morning.
A Hector Kyprianou strike sparked the come-back before Finlay Lovatt tapped home late in the second half to secure the win for the O’s.
Orient got the game underway and looked comfortable in possession for lengthy periods of the opening 10 minutes, although ‘keeper Samuel Amedu had to be alert to pick up loose balls when Barnet hit the O’s on the counter attack.
Eric Lopes struck a 25-yard free-kick on goal for the O’s first attempt of the game, the Barnet ‘keeper comfortably gathered the ball and launched it up field for a counter, the visiting striker controlled the ball one-on-one with Amedu but lashed at the chance and hit the ball high and wide of the target.
Moments later, Trailist A was only just beaten to a midfield through ball by the Barnet ‘keeper who raced off his line to gather the danger.
Midfielder Hector Kyprianou’s initial shot from distance was parried in to the path of Trailist A whose first-time strike flashed across the face of goal in what was the best chance of the game thus far.
Ernold Haxhiu found Kyprianou in an advanced midfield position before the latter made space for himself and fired towards goal, the ball took a strong deflection and headed for the opposite corner of the net but for quick reflexes from the Barnet ‘keeper who readjusted his dive and smothered the ball.
10 minutes remained of the first half when a Barnet forward was brought down inside the box on the end of an Orient defender’s challenge. Amedu guessed the right way but wasn’t able to stop the ball from being placed in the top corner of the net to give the visitors the lead.
On the stroke of half-time Charles Clayden forced a comfortable save out of the Barnet ‘keeper, who immediately sent his team on a counter attack. The ball was squared to a Bees’ striker in the centre of the net whose shot was excellently saved by Amedu who dived low to his right to deny the visitors a goal.
Orient began the second-half offensively, Jaedon Phillips fired wide from just outside the box before Will Sanders’ glancing header inside the six-yard box from a Lopes free-kick couldn’t be directed goal-wards.
Minutes later the O’s pressure paid off, Clayden’s whipped free-kick from the wide right was poked passed the Barnet ‘keeper by Hector Kyprianou who tussled with his marker at the back post and reacted first.
After 55 minutes, Amedu’s clearance was charged down by the Bees’ forward who managed to block the ball before he darted goal-wards, but for good last ditch defending by Shadrach Ogie, who put his body in the way of the attempt to block the ball.
Orient had the wind in their sails at this point, Phillips was in down the right wing before his shot was parried back in to the centre of the net by the ‘keeper who took the ball away from the on-running Trailist A, who attempted to nod the rebound in.
Against the run of play, Barnet struck the post from range after the ball was cut inside from the right wing. Full-back Wynford Marfo was on hand to clear the danger after the ball had rebounded of the frame of the goal.
However, it was Orient who snatched the winner in the dying minutes of the game, Clayden received a throw in on the wide, beat two men and headed for the 6-yard box. The winger then squared the ball for Finlay Lovatt to sweep home the winner as the game ended 2-1.
After the victory, Coach Pete Gill said: “I was really pleased for the boys because they have had a few games now where they have battled incredibly well but been really unlucky not to have get anything out of the game.”
Gill’s side went in to the break a goal down but was confident that his side could turn things around in the second-half.
“At half-time my message to the boys was to be patient, we had dominated the first half and played well. Our ‘keeper Samuel Amedu made a really good save and that was probably a game changer for us.
Gill continued: “We had created enough chances without scoring so it was very much keep doing what you’re doing and be ruthless in front of goal because we were always confident that we would take something from the game."
U15 Finlay Lovatt came on late in the second-half and scored the winner and the youth team coach was delighted with the youngster and praised his colleges efforts in producing talent good enough to make the step up.
“I’m really pleased for Finlay, but it’s a really young side at the moment and I’ve got to take off my hat to Wynford Marfo who is another U15 and has played the last couple of U18’s games. To see Finlay Lovatt, someone who I have worked with for the last three years come off the bench for his first youth team game and score the winner with his second touch was very nice.
“It was also pleasing to see the celebrations after the goal, all the other boys realised what a moment it was for him and wrapped themselves round him.
“Things like that are a sign of the good work going on in the academy from all members of staff and coaches working with players from U9’s to the U18’s it’s great that we could produce such a performance and a result with such a young side.”
The U18’s are next in action next weekend at home to Plymouth Argyle with a 2pm kick-off.
ORIENT: Samuel Amedu, Alfie Fleming, Shadrach Ogie, Will Sanders, Wynford Marfo, Jaedon Phillips, Ernold Haxhiu, Hector Kyprianou, Charles Clayden, Eric Lopes, Trailist A (Finlay Lovatt 82)
SUBS: Brendon Shabani, Kyrell Palmer, Antony Papadopoulos, Lawrence Hammond
GOALS: Kyprianou, Lovatt