The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ge­orge Ses­sions

LEY­TON Ori­ent be­gan life with­out Dean Cox with an ex­cel­lent vic­tory at More­cambe, who were top at the start of play, and boss Andy Hessen­thaler ad­mit­ted they might have won by a big­ger mar­gin.

Liam Kelly put the O’s ahead in the 29th minute when he curled past Barry Roche from out­side the area.

Although it re­mained that way un­til half-time, Shrimps’ Kevin El­li­son smashed in from 25 yards just four min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod.

But Jor­dan Bow­ery had the fi­nal say in the 55th minute when his de­flected ef­fort from just in­side the area beat Roche to give the east Lon­don­ers a de­served three points.

“I thought we were ex­cel­lent, every­thing about us de­fen­sively and go­ing for­ward was per­fect,” said Hessen­thaler.

“We prob­a­bly should have got three or four, but the goal­keeper has made some good saves. Over the 90 min­utes we were the bet­ter side and we got what we de­served.”

Shrimps boss Jim Bent­ley echoed the sen­ti­ments of Ori­ent’s man­ager af­ter see­ing his team suf­fer their sec­ond league loss of the cam­paign.

“We are a bet­ter side than we have shown against Ley­ton Ori­ent. Credit to them, they come here with a game plan,” said Bent­ley, who saw his side slip to sec­ond in the ta­ble.

“They have been com­mit­ted and had a stroke of luck with the win­ner, but we’ve had that of late so hope­fully it evens it­self out over the sea­son.

“We have not helped our­selves and we played a hand in los­ing the game be­cause we haven’t per­formed as well as we have done of late.

“We never re­ally got up to full speed of what we know we are ca­pa­ble of, so in all depart­ments we can do bet­ter. I didn’t think we were ab­so­lutely shock­ing, but we’ve dipped be­low our stan­dards and that is why we’ve lost the game.”

Ori­ent took full ad­van­tage. It was an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance by the east Lon­don­ers and achieved with­out Cox, who left the club by mu­tual con­sent on Thurs­day evening. The winger had been at Bris­bane Road since 2010, but has de­parted in bizarre cir­cum­stances.

Hessen­thaler added: “As far as I’m con­cerned and what I was told, Dean was of­fered a deal at Northamp­ton Town and he agreed that deal.

“The club agreed to give him a free trans­fer and let him go be­cause at the end of the day he’s been an ab­so­lute top ser­vant for the club.

“I spoke to him on the Tues­day night and he said he was go­ing. Un­for­tu­nately it didn’t ma­te­ri­alise and he’s left the club, but I don’t think we need to talk any more about it.

“All I can say from a personal point of view is what a top lad and I can only say thank you to him for what he’s done at Ori­ent over the years.

“I know the fans are dis­ap­pointed he’s left, but it has hap­pened. We wish him all the best and we thank him for all he’s done.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

TAKE A BOW: Ley­ton Ori­ent’s Jor­dan Bow­ery hits the win­ner

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