CHANGES FAIL TO AID COUNTY
NOTTS COUNTY manager Ricardo Moniz launched a vigorous defence of his team selection after making nine changes to his starting line-up as they were beaten at Leyton Orient.
Having not lost in their last three games, the Magpies boss stunned everybody by dropping high-profile performers such as Izale McLeod, Liam Noble and goalkeeper Roy Carroll.
But it backfired in the first half as Orient took the lead through Sammy Moore’s cushioned volley.
Notts did equalise after the break through Jon Stead and threatened to go 2-1 up, but eventually succumbed to Jay Simpson’s tap-in and Moore’s late screamer.
Asked afterwards why he had felt the need to make so many changes to a team that was unbeaten in three games, Moniz said: “I trust all of my players, simple.
“There are other things that you don’t see like players in training such as Jack Barmby who came into the team and was very good.
“We had a great chance to make it 2-1 and then everybody would have spoken differently.
“People would have said they were good changes.
“It’s always afterwards. I’ve always said I wanted a team that has two players for every position.
“I know how tired certain players are and over the long term having two players for every position has to pay off.”
Orient’s victory over Notts was their first in seven games and has helped end a sticky patch for Ian Hendon’s side, who had stormed to the top of the table.
After Moore gave them the lead only smart goalkeeping from Scott Loach prevented them from doubling their lead through Jay Simpson.
Notts were much better after the break and Stead’s classy finish from Adam Campbell’s pass was his first in the league this season.
Campbell then missed a great chance to make it 2-1, before Simpson grabbed his seventh goal of the season after Loach had parried out Sean Clohessy’s shot.
Orient did save the best for last when Moore picked up possession in midfield and struck a wonderful effort into the top corner from 35 yards.
It delighted boss Hendon who paid tribute to his side’s fighting qualities.
“It was tough,” he said. “They were big and strong and it was not an easy game at all.
“They made nine changes to the team which played against Dagenham, which shows you how big their squad is.
“But it also shows what a good squad it is too.
“But we matched them physically. “We gave away some feet and inches in the height department, but I was really pleased with how we battled.
“I was pleased with Sammy’s goals and the second was very special. He hit one at Cambridge which got tipped over in injury time so let’s hope he gets a few more. He’s taken a whack to the knee, but I think he’s just tweaked it.”
MOORE’S THE MERRIER: Leyton Orient’s Sammy Moore scores the first goal
CLOSE SHAVE: Sammy Moore fires inches wide