Orient youngsters came from behind to snatch victory in the FA Youth Cup at The Breyer Group Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Orient had fell behind after 29 minutes but a terrific second half saw them come back to take the victory at home.
Romford took the lead through Jay Bacon’s free-kick. Bacon took his side’s first chance of the game and smashed his free-kick in off the crossbar from 25 yards against the run of play.
Jaedon Phillips equalised after 59 minutes. A beautiful curling effort from the right of the box flew past the Goalkeeper as the O’s pushed for the win.
Bradley McClenaghan then put The O’s a head after 65 minutes. The midfielder found himself in the box and drilled a low shot across the Keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
Orient had started the game well and forced a save from Goalkeeper Billy Lefevre on ten minutes. Brendon Shabani played a neat give and go with Bradley McClenaghan on the edge of the box but could only shoot into the Keepers hands.
Moments later Jaedon Phillips clipped a header wide of the target following a whipped ball in from the left flank as the O’s looked to keep the tempo high early on.
Ernold Haxhiu squandered a glorious opportunity against a red shirt as he looked destined to score the opening goal of the evening, the midfielder skipped over a challenge after beating a Romford defender to a loose ball in the penalty area.
Orient continued to enjoy the majority of possession but the visitors broke the deadlock before the half an hour mark with Bacon’s free-kick.
Just before half time Alfie Fleming was replaced by Anthony Papadopoulous after the left-back was forced of the pitch with a nasty cut to the face.
Orient squandered a glorious opportunity to equalise right before the whistle, Clayden bombed down the left, but Phillips couldn’t sort his feet and blazed over the bar from close range.
Orient came out of the blocks and performed far better in the second half and turned the game on its head.
Phillips equalised with a curling left foot effort after 59 minutes. The ball fell kindly after a Romford Defender tried to cut out a Kyrell Palmer cross. The striker shimmied past a marker and let fly into the net.
Only minutes later Orient took the lead when McClenaghan hammered home from close range giving Orient the advantage going into the final quarter of the game.
Rhys Byrne was on hand to deny substitute Rhys Sika-Nartey, after the Romford man fired across goal from a tight angle as the game entered the final ten minutes.
A smart double save from Lefevre denied Clayden and then Shabani adding a 3rd Orient goal in the closing minutes. Phillips also failed to meet Clayden’s whipped ball as Orient finished the stronger side.
With this result Orient move on to the next stage of the tournament; Third Round Qualifying games will be played the week commencing the 15th of October. Victorious teams will then be entered into the Competition Proper.
The U18’s are back in action this Saturday, when they host Luton Town at the Whitbread Sports Ground. KO: 10:30 P: IG8 7NJ
ORIENT: Rhys Byrne, Kyrell Palmer (Thomas Mulqueen 77), Alfie Fleming (Anthony Papadopoulous 39), Ernold Haxhiu, Wynford Marfo, Brendon Shabani, Lawrence Hammond, Hector Kyprianou, Jaedon Phillips, Bradley McClenaghan, Charles Clayden
SUBS: Sean Campbell, Jordon Adeyemi, Brian Ifeanyi
GOALS: Phillips (59) McClenaghan (65)
BOOKED: Palmer (70) Hammond (76)
ROMFORD: Billy Lefevre, Aaron Harney, Jay Bacon, Bleron Ademi (Ebubechukwa Agu 68), Jack McQueen, Kai Maynard, John De Sousa Quissua, Jess Norey, Peter Oyetunji, Sofian Maghouz, Ramzi Mahmoudi
SUBS: Felipe Ramirez-Saria, Muhammad Bilal, Olarewaju Adesanya, Rhys Sika-Nartey
GOALS: Bacon (29)
Referee: Ede Eruero