AILING O’S DROP OUT OF LEAGUE
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.”
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
STAR MAN GEORGE COOPER Crewe