Jonah Ayunga’s strike early in the second half subjected Orient to their first defeat of the season at the Breyer Group Stadium this afternoon.
Head Coach Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged eleven for the tenth consecutive match.
However, there was one change on the bench with Sam Ling replacing Dan Happe who missed out with an ankle problem.
Orient got the game underway on a pleasant afternoon in E10. On seven minutes, Kenny Davis received the first booking of the game after cynically fouling James Dayton on the near touchline.
It had been a quiet opening quarter of an hour in terms of chances with neither goalkeeper having to make a save in the early stages. However, the O’s were knocking on the door as Dayton darted towards the by-line before flashing the ball across the box.
The O’s best chance arrived on 23 minutes when Jobi McAnuff’s corner was met by Joe Widdowson whose powerful header in the centre of the goal was cleared off the line by a Sutton shirt.
At the other end, the U’s saw their first glimpse of goal when Aaron Drinan volleyed Dale Bennett’s cross over the bar at the near post. Moments later, they won a free kick from little over 12 yards which Davis blazed wide of the post.
With half an hour gone, the game remained goalless after a scrappy passage of play. Drinan became the second Sutton player to receive a booking after bringing down Dayton, who was unable to make the most of the resulting free-kick which sailed over the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time, Orient came close to breaking the deadlock after some neat build-up play. Dayton clipped the ball to Bonne who guided his header into the grateful arms of visiting keeper Jamie Butler meaning the teams entered the break all square.
Sutton got the second half underway with captain Craig Eastmond shooting straight at Dean Brill inside the opening minute. However, the visitors snatched the lead shortly after when Jonah Ayunga drifted infield from the left before burying a low shot which crept in at the near post.
The visitors were quick to register their third booking of the game when Eastmond received a yellow card for a naughty challenge on Charlie Lee. Having retrieved the ball in their own half, the O’s broke quickly but Macauley Bonne rushed his effort which cleared the stand.
Orient made a double substitution on 65 minutes with Dale Gorman and James Brophy replacing Lee and Dayton in the midfield. Soon after, the O’s final change saw James Alabi replace Myles Judd.
Brophy had looked lively since coming onto the pitch and could have equalised after weaving his way into the penalty area and dragging his effort wide of the post. Then, McAnuff delivered a teasing cross into the box but Alabi was unable to make a connection. Orient’s best chance of the half came with two minutes of normal time remaining. Josh Koroma picked out Gorman whose first time shot from the edge of the penalty area came crashing back off the crossbar.
With five additional minutes announced, Alabi spun his marker in the box before curling a left-footed shot narrowly wide of the far post. Despite committing bodies to the attack in the closing stages, the O’s failed to find the net and were subjected to their first defeat of the season.
Our next home game is on Saturday 13th October when Leyton Orient play Hartlepool United in our first ‘Football for a Fiver’ game. All tickets for this fixture are just £5 and you can buy them online now at www.onlyoneorient.com. Alternatively, you can purchase in-person at the O’s ticket office at the Breyer Group Stadium or by telephone on 0208 8926 1010.
ORIENT: Brill, Widdowson, Coulson, McAnuff (C), Clay, Bonne, Dayton (Brophy 65’), Judd (Alabi 74’), Koroma, Ekpiteta, Lee (Gorman 65’)
SUBS: Sargeant, Ling.
SUTTON UNITED: Butler, Bennett, Thomas, Beckwith, Clough, Davis (Brown 71’), Ayunga (Wishart 75’), Eastmond (C), Bailey, Wright (Bolarinwa 65’), Drinan.
SUBS: Lafayette, Beautyman.
BOOKED: Davis (7’), Drinan (40’), Eastmond (58’), Bennett (78’), Wishart (81’), Brown (85’)
GOALS: Ayunga (48’)
REFEREE: Carl Brook
ATTENDANCE: 5,627 (308 Sutton)