KOROMA TREBLE IS PERFECT FOR O’S
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.”
HAT-TRICK HERO: Josh Koroma celebrates his first goal of the game STAR MAN JOSH KOROMA Leyton