The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By An­drew Parker

CRI­SIS-CLUB Ley­ton Ori­ent boosted belief that they can sur­vive in League Two as their teenagers tore through base­ment-boys New­port County at Rod­ney Pa­rade.

The bat­tle of the bot­tom two was a onesided af­fair as 18-year-old Josh Koroma helped him­self to a hat-trick af­ter fel­low teen Steven Alzate had bro­ken the dead­lock.

It was the per­fect way for the club to end a week that saw the O’s served with a wind­ing-up pe­ti­tion by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms.

De­lighted man­ager Danny Webb praised the team spirit in the camp and the fear­less­ness of his young­sters.

“It was an im­pres­sive per­for­mance,” said Webb.

“We showed ef­fort and to­geth­er­ness, it was pleas­ing as seven or eight lads out there have come through our academy, the re­sult is ob­vi­ously a mas­sive cherry on top of the cake.

“We were clin­i­cal on the counter-at­tack. Some of those boys have come through the un­der-14s so they know how I like to play, they treat it like a game of foot­ball in the park, they play with free­dom and we have al­ways looked to counter teams.”

Koroma laid on the first goal for fel­low 18-year-old Alzate af­ter eight min­utes as the vis­i­tors caught County on the break. It was 2-0 five min­utes later as he slot­ted in af­ter a fine pass by 17-year-old striker Sam Dalby.

The same com­bi­na­tion saw Koroma tap in a third in first-half stop­page time and he com­pleted his hat-trick from the penalty spot on 64 min­utes af­ter Mark O’Brien had felled Alzate.

“The fans here have gone through a lot since I have come in as man­ager and I just hope they can see it’s a bright fu­ture on the pitch,” added Webb.

“Mo­rale has never dipped be­cause we have high team spirit, re­gard­less of re­sults.

“The league ta­ble is not pretty read­ing and we are still prob­a­bly favourites along with New­port to go down.

“But th­ese young­sters will play with no fear and we have con­fi­dence that re­sult will give us all a lift.”

Ori­ent are still five points from safety but the hosts are now 11 points adrift, al­beit with a game in hand.

And New­port man­ager Gra­ham West­ley didn’t try to hide his dis­ap­point­ment.

“It’s a dev­as­tat­ing de­feat for us,” he said. “Not just the re­sult but the man­ner of the per­for­mance be­cause if you mea­sure a per­for­mance in terms of fight and de­sire and hunger and ap­petite we were very low in all those com­modi­ties.

“Win, lose or draw there was al­ways go­ing to be a lot of work to do.

“But we have to take a long, hard look at our­selves and ask ‘did I do ev­ery­thing I could do to win that foot­ball match?’

“It was a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity to get our­selves off the bot­tom but it was a re­ally ab­ject dis­play.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Gary Lear­month

HAT-TRICK HERO: Josh Koroma cel­e­brates his first goal of the game STAR MAN JOSH KOROMA Ley­ton


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