The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Michael Hale

LEY­TON Ori­ent’s 112-year stay in the Foot­ball League was brought to an end by a dom­i­nant dis­play from Crewe Alexandra.

Ori­ent kept alive hopes of a Great Es­cape over Easter week­end but they brought crash­ing back down to re­al­ity by match-win­ning goals from Cal­lum Ain­ley, Ryan Win­tle and Ge­orge Cooper – and it could have been worse.

Ev­ery­thing that could have gone wrong for the East Lon­don club has this sea­son.

Both on and off the pitch with the play­ers and staff not be­ing paid for four weeks – a fac­tor boss Omer Riza feels can­not be ig­nored af­ter their fate was sealed.

He said: “Of course it is af­fect­ing ev­ery­one, there’s no doubt about that.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult time to be in when you’re not get­ting paid.

“Some peo­ple re­act to it in dif­fer­ent ways. It’s just un­set­tled ev­ery­one re­ally, peo­ple can’t con­cen­trate on do­ing their jobs prop­erly.

“It’s a big fac­tor, the whole sea­sons been a big fac­tor of what’s gone on.

“The last few per­for­mances they’ve gone out there and proved they can play. They’re young lads and it just wasn’t their day, they didn’t do the things right to get a re­sult.

“Maybe now this has hap­pened some­thing might come out or change.”

Crewe took the lead when Ain­ley’s vol­ley de­flected past a wrong-footed Sam Sargeant and into the bot­tom cor­ner.

It was 2-0 just four min­utes later with the of­fi­cials deem­ing Win­tle’s back post header to have crossed the line be­fore Teddy Mazague hoofed clear.

How­ever, the hosts made it 3-0 be­fore the break, as Cooper cut onto his left foot and fired a low shot into the net in added time.

Ori­ent im­proved af­ter the interval, hav­ing made two half time changes, but the hosts still looked the more likely to score a fourth goal.

Cal­lum Cooke was de­nied by Sargeant be­fore Cooper’s won­der­ful curl­ing ef­fort came back off the post but Crewe boss David Artell’s was de­lighted with the re­sult.

He said: “We were ter­rific from minute one to minute 90. When they had a shot on tar­get there was ironic cheers be­cause that was from about 30 yards. “I don’t re­mem­ber them get­ting close to our goal. I thought our play, at times, was ex­cel­lent. “The only crit­i­cism I have is that we didn’t score more but if I only have that worry ev­ery week then we’ll be al­right. “We beat what looked like a be­lea­guered team, we did it con­vinc­ingly and we were very pro­fes­sional in both halves. “We scored three good goals and we had plenty more chances.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Craig Galloway

HEADS UP: Crewe’s Ryan Win­tle gets up to head in the sec­ond goal In­set: A vis­i­bly up­set Ley­ton Ori­ent cap­tain Tom Parkes

FI­NAL NAIL: Ge­orge Cooper scores Crewe’s third


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