ORIENT SITTING PRETTY AT TOP
LEYTON Orient’s perfect start to the season continued with victory against in-form Bristol Rovers at the Matchroom Stadium.
A spot kick from Lloyd James and a fine individual goal from Jay Simpson in the first half was enough in the end to seal the points for Orient.
It might have been a solid win for the home side but O’s boss Ian Hendon is not getting too carried away.
“It’s very enjoyable to be in the position we’re in, it was a good performance and another good result,” he said.
“I think this was the biggest test we’ve had so far this season, we knew all about Rovers’ record away from home, we know they’re very organised, and I think the victory for us was the right result. It was a good team performance.”
Clearly no one in London E10 is mentioning promotion just yet, but if Orient do want to push on from here they’ll need to strengthen their squad – not that Hendon was going to reveal much about their transfer plans.
“If we need to add players, we’ve got plenty of contacts out there and we’re out watching lots and lots of games,” he added.
“We’re going to get through the weekend and we’ll see what happens before Tuesday’s deadline.”
The visitors certainly started the game brightly, with a tidy shot from Ellis Harrison denied by Alex Cisak. Rovers’ fluid attack looked impressive as they broke and ran at the Orient defence with pace and determination.
The home side held their nerve though and, as the half developed, began to bite back. Orient went ahead after James Clarke pushed McCallum in the back just inside the area. James stepped up and duly struck it past Chapman.
The O’s were suddenly a lot more assertive in a busy midfield and they got their reward in the dying moments of the first half, when Simpson shrugged off two markers, carved out some space and slotted a wonderful goal past Aaron Chapman.
The visitors tried a more orthodox 4-4-2 after the break, with mixed results. Orient had more space to play in the middle, and it needed a good save from Aaron Chapman to deny Bradley Pitchard early in the second half.
Pritchard had a fine chance to put the game to bed in the 70th minute when he dragged his shot just wide from the edge of the box but in the end it mattered little.
Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke was looking to the positives after his side’s incredible away form finally came to an end, nearly a year since their last defeat on the road.
“There were a few individuals a little bit off their game today, but we brush ourselves down with a tough week on the training pitch.
“Leyton Orient are obviously flying, but I know that if my team perform to the standards that they’re capable of, then we’re more than a match for anyone in the league and that gives me confidence and it should give my players confidence. We’re disappointed, but we’ll bounce back.”