Writer: Jenny K
Date:Sunday April 17 2011
St James Park
Sat 16th April/15:00
Mathematically we are still in the race but yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Exeter makes the top six and a shot at the play-offs seem a long way off.
A double from Jamie Cureton sealed the win for the hosts despite Dean Cox's fabulous strike for the O's.
The toll of such a long and hard fought season seems to have an effect on the team as Tommy Carroll was ruled out before the game, joining Ben Chorley, Alex Revell, Jimmy Smith and Paul-Jose Mpoku on the sidelines. The added loss of captain Stephen Dawson at half-time meant our squad for and during the game was very thin on the ground.
Exeter started the brighter side, opening the scoring thanks to Cureton with only four minutes gone. Daniel Nardiello drove down the right and crossed for Cureton, who seemed to waltz past a static defence and easily slide the ball past Jamie Jones.
The home side could have added to their lead through Cureton again and Nardiello before Orient drew level. Against the run of play Charlie Daniels typically burst down the left, finding Cox in space for the midfielder to curl a lovely 25-yard shot into the top corner. It was an beautifully crafted strike for Cox's tenth goal of the season.
Both teams had chances to take the lead, for Orient Scott McGleish had a goal disallowed whilst Cox came so close to a second when he hit the post with a 30-yard effort.
At the other end Nardiello and going into the second-half Ryan Harley had chances before Exeter sealed all three points.
In another spell of lacklustre O's defending Jones managed to save Richard Logan's effort only for Cureton to tap home the rebound. It looked all too easy for Exeter as two players ran into each other and our defence possibly looked tired or just switched off for a costly second.
With a patched-up squad and strike force of Jonathan Tehoue and Ryan Jarvis finishing the game, Orient never looked like grabbing the equaliser as we fall to another defeat.
A lack of striking power since the injury to Alex Revell has really cost the O's dear in recent weeks (with only 9 goals in 10 games). Unfortunately McGleish is unable to carry the goal responsibility on his own at 37 whilst Tehoue and Harry Kane seem to drift in and out of game and goal scoring.
This slump in the season has unfortunately taken the gloss off a fantastic campaign, for now. The play-off dream may be slipping away as every game comes and goes but missing out on the top six shouldn't detract from all the hard work the players and management have put into this season.
With four games left my head tells me the fight may be over but our very slim chance still gives us something to play for. Do you think we will make the play-offs or would you be happy with settling for a top ten finish? Leave your comments below....
Exeter: Hamer; Tully, Duffy, Archibald-Henville, Golbourne; Dunne, Sercombe (Logan 59), Noble, Harley; Cureton, Nardiello (Thomson 62)
Leyton Orient: Jones; Whing, Omozusi, Barrett, Daniels; Spring; Dawson (Crowe 46), Chambers, Cox; McGleish (Téhoué 70), Kane (Jarvis 83)
Date:Sunday April 17 2011
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|Leyton Orient||2||-||0||MK Dons|
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||7||71|
|8. MK Dons||46||19||13||14||17||70|
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