Orient werer stunned as Northampton Town ran out 5-1 winners on Saturday afternoon.
Lawrence Hammond scored early in the game to level the scores at 1-1 but the O's were then dominated by the Cobblers who struck a further five times to seal the victory.
The home side went 1-0 up within 5 minutes; a long ball down the left flank exploited a high defensive line, allowing the winger to sprint to the by-line, before squaring into the box for the forward to tuck home his first of four goals.
Orient responded instantly and were gifted an equaliser. Ernold Haxhiu picked up the ball outside the box just left of centre and sent a swerving strike towards goal. The goalkeeper parried it into the path of Lawrence Hammond who stroked the ball home to bring Orient level after only 8 minutes.
Orient then had their best spell of the game, and found joy down the flanks. They may have taken the lead, however Bradley McClenaghan couldn’t direct a looping header into the net.
Northampton reinstated their lead after 35 minutes. Rhys Byrne made a fine save to stop a well driven low shot at his near post, but couldn’t keep a hold of the ball. The striker was the first to react and got home to poke in his second making the score 2-1 at half time.
Shortly after the restart, the Northampton Town youngster bagged his hat-trick. The referee waved the player back onto the pitch following a slight knock. Brendan Shabani wasn’t aware of the striker coming back into play and lost possession on the edge of his box, before watching the forward slot the ball into the back of the net. An unfortunate goal to concede.
More misery soon followed as the man of the match added his fourth and final goal. Another long ball behind the defence caused miss-communication in defence, gifting the forward the opportunity to roll the ball into an empty net.
After 5 goals in the opening hour of play, the game began to slow down. Orient had a mountain to climb and couldn’t find any openings to mount a comeback. Northampton scored their last from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
Alfie Fleming was penalised after challenging for a bouncing ball. The ball stood in the air awkwardly and a marron shirt headed the ball away from Fleming, who had already committed to trying to win the ball. The ref pointed to the spot and the ball was drilled into the bottom left corner.
The U18’s will look to bounce back in their next fixture, Orient welcome AFC Wimbledon on Sep 15th.
ORIENT: Rhys Bryne, Jermey Sivi, Alfie Flemming, Ernold Haxiu, Wynford Marfo, Brendan Shabani, Lawrence Hammond, Hector Kyprianiou (64: Sonny Perkins), Jaedon Phillips (72: Jordon Adeyemi), Bradley McClenaghan, Charles Clayden
SUBS: Kyrille Palmer and Samuel Amedu