The U18’s were unfortunate to be beat 2-1 away to Cheltenham Town, with the result not reflecting a dominant performance from the O’s.
Finlay Lovatt notches a goal as the Youngsters unfortunately fall short in Gloucestershre.
The O’s got things underway, shooting against the wind in the first-half.
Cheltenham established an early lead whipping a corner-kick straight into the goal, with the wind helping the ball curl into the net.
Orient weren’t disheartened by falling behind and were the better side following the goal. The O’s played neat football and took the game to the hosts, patiently looking for an opening.
Shortly after 15 minutes, Aridas Vilinauskas made his first save of the game, diving to his right, opting to fist a fizzing strike clear of the danger area.
Finlay Lovatt has looked to capitalise on the home side’s high-line, though was denied a run at goal with the defender handling the ball and subsequently picking up the first booking of the game.
Jeremie Sivi would be the first O’s man in the ref’s book for squaring up with an opposition man after a 50/50 challenge shortly after.
Matt Young and Wynford Marfo established a solid pairing in the middle of defence as they thwarted Cheltenham’s long ball approach.
Lovatt brought Orient level after 35 minutes driving the ball home from 30-yards after latching on to a poor clearance from The Robins' number one. The forward was composed taking one touch before firing the ball over the line.
Orient finished the half in style and nearly nicked the lead. Captain Bradley McClenaghan’s flick goal-bound was blocked on the line following Jayden Sweeney’s in-swinging corner.
The second-half would start the same as the first with the home team taking an early lead. Having got in behind the back line the Cheltenham forward tapped the ball home to make the score 2-1.
The O’s would again dictate large spells of the half, seeing the majority of possession as they hunted another equaliser.
Lawrence Hammond registered an effort on target, first losing three defenders before forcing the keeper in to an important save.
Jordan Adeyemi and Anthony Papadopoulos’s introduction to the game rejuvenated Orients approach and the latter nearly equalised with his first touch but was denied by the keeper from close range.
The linesman denied Orient an equaliser, indicating an offside player had restricted the keeper’s view as Sivi smashed the ball into the net from the edge of the area.
With time ticking away, The O’s never lost heart and continued to create chances. Notably, last ditch defending from Cheltenham denied a last minute equaliser as defenders scrambled the ball off the line as a Sweeney corner caused problems.
The referee blew his whistle to call time on the tie, with the hosts fortunate to have taken all three points.
Up Next for the U18’s: Plymouth Argyle(H) Saturday March 30th
Orient: Aridas Vilinauskas (Sean Campbell 77”), Kyrell Palmer (Anthony Papadopoulos 70”) Wynford Marfo, Matt Young, Jayden Sweeney, Jeremie Sivi (Ben Staerck 77”)Brendon Shabani, Brad McClenaghan, Brian Ifeanyi, Lawrence Hammond, Finlay Lovatt (Jordan Adeyemi 63”)
Booked: Sivi 29’’ Shabani 90”
Goals: Lovatt 35”