The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tom Phillips

LEY­TON ORI­ENT find them­selves in the play-off places, and this nar­row vic­tory could be cru­cial to fin­ish­ing as a top-six side, ac­cord­ing to player-man­ager Kevin Nolan.

More­cambe were down to ten men af­ter goal­keeper Barry Roche was sent off for tak­ing down Ori­ent’s Jay Simp­son in the penalty box and saw Ryan Ed­wards score an own goal.

Nolan said: “We didn’t pun­ish them with the penalty and I’m frus­trated. And then what hap­pens is we start look­ing a bit ner­vous and we start do­ing things we shouldn’t be do­ing.

“You’re play­ing against ten men and you start tak­ing the ex­tra touch and then you start do­ing or try­ing things be­cause you think they’ll be happy with a draw be­cause they’re play­ing with ten men.

“I think More­cambe bat­tled so well, prob­a­bly fan­tas­ti­cally well, and are prob­a­bly dis­ap­pointed with not com­ing home with a draw.

“I’ve said to the boys that if you want to be a top six side then you’ve got to win games even when you’re not do­ing the right things and that’s what they done to­day and that’s fan­tas­tic.”

More­cambe man­ager Jim Bent­ley, mean­while, said he was very proud of his team’s re­sponse from go­ing a man down early on in the game de­spite los­ing in the worst pos­si­ble way.

Bent­ley said: “With ten men in a place like this, you know I think it’s one of the best squads in the divi­sion with plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence and have the league’s top scorer.

“I would’ve been call­ing for a send­ing off my­self so the ref’s prob­a­bly got that one right. I think from then on we man­aged the sit­u­a­tion very well. We rode our luck at times and Kieran O’Hara was ex­cel­lent in goal when they did get through.

“Af­ter ev­ery­thing we’ve put in and ev­ery­thing the play­ers have done and the way they went about play­ing with ten men, I thought they were su­perb.

“I’m proud for them but to lose to a goal like that is very dis­ap­point­ing.”

Ori­ent striker Jay Simp­son was brought down in the box by goal­keeper Roche and was shown the red card in the 12th minute for deny­ing a goalscor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

But sub­sti­tute O’Hara came to the res­cue and de­nied Simp­son’s shot with his feet.

Ori­ent striker Ar­mand Gnan­duil­let tested O’Hara again a minute later when he met an­other Clo­hessy cross with his head at point-blank range with the keeper man­ag­ing to tip it over the bar.

In the 53rd minute, left-back Jerome Bin­nom-Wil­liams forced O’Hara into an­other div­ing save af­ter he over­lapped winger Jobi McAnuff to set up the goalscor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

Ori­ent fi­nally found the back of the net af­ter Alan God­dall tried to clear Bin­nom-Wil­liams’ cross in the six-yard box but hit Ryan Ed­wards back and de­flected into their own goal with just ten min­utes left


SEE­ING RED: More­cambe stop­per Barry Roche is sent off for a foul on Jay Simp­son

FRUS­TRATED: Ori­ent boss Kevin Nolan watches on

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