Heads-up football puts O’s on brink
LEYTON Orient manager Danny Webb was left lamenting three ‘unbelievably bad goals’ as a trio of Crawley headers in nine firsthalf minutes plunged the O’s closer to the relegation abyss.
Orient started the brighter, with skipper Liam Kelly firing wide after barging his way into the box.
But Crawley took the lead against the run of play on 23 minutes when James Collins headed in his 20th of the season, glancing home Josh Payne’s freekick.
Payne was the architect again moments later, lofting another freekick into the box and Joe McNerney looped a header past Sam Sargeant.
Crawley’s Andre Blackman then smashed a long ball forward and Enzio Boldewijn raced through to flick the ball past Sargeant for a third headed finish as Orient are now seven points from safety.
But there were doubts as to whether or not the ball was clawed clear by the O’s stopper before it crossed the line, and Webb was left ruing his side’s luck.
“When you’re down there those decisions don’t go your way,” he said.
“I’m unsure whether it crossed the line.”
The second half started quietly, but Crawley went close to adding to their tally through Rhys Murphy, before the same player curled just past the post soon after.
Payne was next to try his luck, but his effort went comfortably wide, as did another couple from Boldewijn, as Crawley ended up comfortable winners in sunny Sussex.
And home boss Dermot Drummy was delighted by his side’s display.
“For the first 25 minutes it was a fair game. Massey and Semedo were causing us problems with their movement,” he said. “Once we got the first goal our confidence raised. We then got a quick second one, Enzio has got the third and it took the sting out of Orient.
“I thought Rhys Murphy played with more confidence and we weren’t playing panic balls after the third goal.
“It's quite evident what a key part confidence and a change in mentality plays.”
But for a downbeat Webb, he was left frustrated with his side’s defending.
“We were excellent for the first 20 minutes or so before they scored,” he added.
“We conceded three unbelievably bad goals, which was our undoing and the story of our season really. Liam Kelly was doing 14 jobs at once out there.
“We all need a lift right now but it’s very difficult.”