Date:Monday April 15 2013
13th April 2013
Gary Sawyer`s first strike in an Orient shirt quickly followed by Kevin Lisbie`s 16th goal of the season was enough to give the home side victory against an in-form MK Dons.
Sawyer`s strike with nine minutes to go sent the home fans into raptures as his excellent turn and shot sparked his side into claiming a valuable three points in the chase for an unlikely play-off spot.
The full back returned to the starting line-up after recovering from the injury that has seen him miss out on regular football since being substituted in the 2-1 loss away at Hartlepool in February as the O`s changed their defensive backline from last week`s defeat at Colchester.
The hosts got off to the quicker start creating some openings early on. Firstly Dean Cox managed to play through Moses Odubajo whose angled run into the box was followed by a fierce shot driven straight into Dons keeper Ian Mcloughlin. Then Jimmy Smith went close as a Cox cross found him deep inside the penalty area but his deflected header was dealt with by the MK Keeper.
Moments later the visitors showed their threat as they produce a counter attacking opportunity down the other end. Dean Bowditch found himself with time down the right wing to cut the ball back to Patrick Bamford who completely missed the pass as he was rushing into the Orient half.
After a hectic start the game calmed down with both sides matching each other as they looked for an opener. But as the half went on Mk started to gain control of possession and looked the more dangerous side.
They created the next chance of note as Patrick Bamford could only find the side netting with only Jamie Jones to beat in the Orient goal.
Towards the end of the first half, Karl Robinson`s men went close again, this time from a free kick. Shaun Williams effort beat the wall and appeared to be curling towards the goal only for a super diving stop from Jones to deny the MK defender.
Both teams went in level into the second period desperate for the goals which could catapult them into a late charge for the final play-off spot.
Orient created the first chance after the break as Kevin Lisbie`s ran the ball into the box hoping to find Moses Odubajo, only for the duo to get their wires crossed and the opportunity failing to materialise.
After that the visitors turned up the heat. Firstly Bowditch couldn`t quite fully test Jones as his stretched strike was comfortably dealt with by the O`s stopper.
Patrick Bamford then had a fantastic solo effort as his run and curling shot from 20 yards out went round a helpless Jones but just inches past the post.
Finally another lethal free kick from Williams had to be parried away by Jones as the hosts were holding on to their clean sheet by the skin of their teeths.
As the final 15 minutes of the match dawned, the O`s awoke from their slumber of the first half hour of the second period and began to search for a winner.
Lee Cook coming on as a substitute went close as his drilled effort across goal narrowly went wide. Kevin Lisbie then ran into the box again only to miss communicate with Odubajo allowing the away side to clear.
But with less than 10 minute until the end Slade`s men got the decisive goal. Leon McSweeney`s free kick from near the halfway line bobbled and bounced around near the MK penalty area until it ended up at Sawyer`s feet. The full back then neatly turned and sweetly hit the ball towards the far post where it tucked inside the post past a diving McLoughlin.
With the home crowd in raucous voice, the O`s pushed for a killer second goal. And they came close to sealing it before the 90th minute. Odubajo skipped past Dean Lewington and with time he showed composure to find Cox on the other side of the box whose fierce drive was well stopped by the Dons keeper.
But as the board went up to indicate how much injury time was to come, the O`s wrapped up the points. From an MK attack the ball fell to Lisbie who only had one defender ahead of him. He then began a series of excellent one-two passing moves with Cox as they moved towards the Dons goal. The final ball came from Cox as he laid in Lisbie who coolly slotted the ball past McLoughlin with the outside of his boot.
With that the O`s reinvigorated their play-off hopes, whilst the MK1 outfit will have to win all of their three remaining games to give themselves a chance at securing sixth.
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Date:Monday April 15 2013
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