Half-time hoodoo is haunting Edwards
LEYTON ORIENT manager Andy Edwards admits he is at a loss as to why his side continue to leak goals straight after half-time.
Goals from Ben Whiteman and Danny Rose shortly after the restart condemned relegation-threatened Orient to a fourth successive defeat as they slipped to second bottom.
It also means a quarter of the goals they Orient have conceded have come in and around the first ten minutes of the second half this season.
Edwards said: “It’s inexplicable. We have looked at it. The players say the right things at halftime about the mindset, the focus and what we are going to do in the first few minutes with the ball – yet we continue to concede at that time.
“It is a very difficult one to understand. It must be psychological. We are at the bottom for a reason. Whether we are conceding as a result of being at the bottom or whether we are not strong enough mentally is the question.
“There was a spell where I thought the game might completely run away from us, but the players regrouped and stuck at it to an extent.”
Following a scrappy first half dominated by Mansfield, Whiteman – one of six new Stags signings this month – curled in a 20-yard drive after Orient thought they had cleared a 48thminute Joel Byrom free-kick.
Two minutes later Shaquile Coulthirst crashed a 25-yard dipping drive against the post on his home debut.
But there was no letoff for the visitors as Rose squeezed in Whiteman’s low 56th-minute ball across the face of goal at the far post to double the Stags lead.
Gavin Massey squandered the visitors’ best opportunity, firing across the six-yard area after an incisive first-half pass by former Mansfield fullback Nicky Hunt.
But despite dominating the game Mansfield manager Steve Evans was busy trying to finalise more incoming transfers immediately after his in-form side moved to within two points of the play-off places.
Stags fitness and rehabilitation coach Lee Taylor said: “The gaffer and assistant manager Paul Raynor went straight on the phone. They are going to be on it all night.
“The gaffer wasn’t too happy with the first half and a few things were said. We didn’t come out the starting blocks as we should have done.
“But in the second half it could have been six – there was only one team in it.”