The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ge­orge Ses­sions

LEY­TON Ori­ent man­ager Omer Riza joked noth­ing sur­prised him at Bris­bane Road any more, after their match with Colch­ester was even­tu­ally fin­ished just be­fore 7pm fol­low­ing a pitch in­va­sion.

O’s fans in­vaded the play­ing sur­face with five min­utes re­main­ing in east Lon­don and the U’s 3-1 ahead.

After an hour of protest­ing, an an­nounce­ment con­firmed the match had been ‘aban­doned’. But at 6.40pm, the fi­nal five min­utes were played with no spec­ta­tors present at Bris­bane Road.

“Any­thing can hap­pen at Ley­ton Ori­ent at the mo­ment, so we have got it sorted and we move on to next week now,” said Riza.

“I think it was right that the match was fin­ished and not aban­doned, and those were the rules we had to abide by.

“If we didn’t fin­ish it now, then we would have all had to come back later in the week to play the fi­nal eight min­utes.

“It wouldn’t have been good for us or Colch­ester, so it was the right thing to clear the pitch and wait for how­ever long we had to in or­der to get it fin­ished.”

The match was halted in the 85th minute when an Ori­ent fan threw a flare onto the pitch and it was then fol­lowed by a pitch protest.

Around 750 sup­port­ers in­vaded the E10 field and called for chair­man Francesco Bec­chetti to leave.

The game was ‘aban­doned’ at 5.47pm, but nearly an hour later the fix­ture was restarted and the fi­nal few min­utes played.

Colch­ester boss John McGreal said: “The ref­eree and the of­fi­cials got the play­ers off quickly and there was noth­ing un­to­ward to­wards the play­ers.

“We had a chat with their man­ager and the ref­eree and we had to try and wait for things to calm down.

“We both wanted the game to fin­ish. It was ei­ther fin­ish it tonight or to come back dur­ing the week to play around five min­utes.

“We got our heads to­gether with the EFL and I think we came to a re­ally sen­si­ble de­ci­sion to clear the sta­dium, play it be­hind closed-doors and play the five min­utes plus added time that was left.”

Colch­ester took the lead after 26 min­utes when Tariq Fosu headed home Tom East­man’s cross from the right.

Ori­ent equalised in breath­tak­ing fash­ion seven min­utes into the sec­ond-half when San­dro Semedo fired in from 30 yards.

But Colch­ester went back ahead, as Jens Janse’s poor back pass was latched upon by Fosu and he teed up Chris Porter for a tap-in.

U’s sub­sti­tute Ma­cauley Bonne then fired into the cor­ner to make it 3-1 be­fore a bizarre con­clu­sion to a dra­matic day.

PICTURES: Media Im­age

U’S BEAUTY: Tariq Fosu PROTEST: Fu­ri­ous Ley­ton Ori­ent fans in­vade the pitch

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