U’S HALT KEV’S ORIENT EXPRESS
KEVIN Nolan tasted defeat for the first time as Leyton Orient’s manager and conceded it was exactly what they deserved.
Ben Williamson bagged a double before setting up Jamie Spencer, making his debut after signing for free from Notts County in the morning, to give United a first win in 2016.
Second-half substitute Armand Gnanduillet did get Orient back into proceedings, scoring just four minutes after coming on, but it proved to be a consolation goal.
Nolan kept the same side that won his first two games in charge and admitted afterwards they looked “flat”.
“I thought we were very sloppy,” he said. “I’ve said to the lads at this level you cannot afford to make mistake after mistake because you’ll get punished.
“You don’t want to give a side that’s come on your turf a gift of a goal early on and that’s disappointing.
“I don’t think Cambridge won through great play, but from us not doing what we’ve done well in the last couple of games.
“Now it’s about putting this behind us and looking forward as we’ve dropped out of the play-offs and now the pressure is back on us.”
Cambridge boss Shaun Derry though was delighted the game plan he had spent a week concocting came off.
“We came off the field against Hartlepool last week disappointed and stayed in the office until 7 o’clock working on a plan and it worked for us,” he said.
“We came on Tuesday night and watched Orient and the place was buzzing and that caused a real difficulty. But we managed the game at the right times.You have to manage the game and we played with a high press and when you look at our goals that’s where it came from.
“It was a great performance, but it’s just one and we have to back it up at home next week.”
Williamson opened the scoring with ten minutes gone, capitalising on a suicidal back pass from Frazer Shaw before rounding keeper Alex Cisak and firing home.
Orient were putting plenty of crosses into the box during the first half, but United’s defence and, Leon Legge in particular, were up to the task.
Eight minutes after the break, Williamson doubled United’s lead as he barged Connor Essam off the ball fairly and far too easily before beating Cisak at the near post.
Player-boss Nolan brought on Gnanduillet and he made an immediate impact as he stabbed the ball past Will Norris after a scramble in the six-yard-box following a Jobi McAnuff corner.
But United soon restored their two-goal cushion as Williamson breezed past Essam before cutting back to Spencer, who finished the move.
Chances came at a premium after this as Luke Berry sent a shot inches wide while at the other end Gnanduillet had an effort blocked by a lunging Jack Coulson. Nolan came on as a substitute and had an opportunity to score in injury time, but curled his shot wide.
U BEAUTY: Jimmy Spencer scores for Cambridge United STAR MAN BEN WILLIA
idge HOLE IN ONE: Ben Williamson places beyond keeper Alex Cisak