Mysterious absentees costly for Orient...
Cambridge never looked back after Luke Berry opened the scoring, heading in his 20th of the season at the far post from Harrison Dunk’s pinpoint cross.
Although Rowan Liburd forced a diving save from Will Norris soon afterwards, Liam O’Neil netted his first for the U’s, heading in a George Maris free kick.
And after the break the outstanding Maris got the goal his performance deserved when he took advantage of some hesitant defending to fire in.
United could have had more goals, but Dunk’s header hit the post and O’Neil saw another effort flash just wide.
Shaun Derry was left to reflect on a result which leaves his side two points off the play-off places.
“We weren’t too sure what team would arrive from Orient, and there were some unfamiliar names out there today,” said U’s boss Derry.
“We asked the players for three points and we got that. We absolutely dominated from start to finish, but we wish Leyton Orient well for the rest of the season.
“Our first goal came at the right time, and it was a commanding performance from then on.
“I look at the league table now, and other results today have kept us close to the top seven, which is good.” OMER Riza said there was nothing suspicious about the absence of several senior players after seeing his youthful Leyton Orient side heavily beaten at Cambridge.
Nicky Hunt, Callum Kennedy and Teddy Mezague joined Orient’s alreadylengthy injury list in the hours before kickoff, following rumours about players being willing to go on strike following a dispute with controversial club president Francesco Becchetti over unpaid wages.
But Riza said: “It’s been a long season and if the boys are feeling they’ve got injuries we have to take it as it is.
“If someone says they’re not fit to play you can’t push them out on the pitch.
“I saw the president yesterday and he said to me he’ll honour players’ contracts.
“I can only take that at face value, if someone looks at me and says that’s what happening I have to believe them.
“The young boys have been brilliant.
“They’ve worked hard today, we had players in unfamiliar positions and we played well at times and put the opposition under pressure.
“The boys’ heads dropped when we conceded but we carried on and there are lots of positives I can take from it.”