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Gutsy U's Fall To Defeat

1 March 2014

Orient sneak 2-1 win.

The U's have fallen to an undeserved 2-1 defeat at Orient.

A massive improvement from Tuesday night's display saw the U's outplay top of the table O's at the Matchroom Stadium.

Only a superb volley from former U's striker David Mooney separated the teams at the break but it was all U's in the second half.

Gavin Massey was denied brilliantly on three occasions in the space of thirty seconds in the first minute of the second period.

The U's were then rewarded with an equaliser, as Marcus Bean headed home a Ryan Dickson cross on seventy nine minutes.

With the U's in the ascendancy, a breakaway goal from Odubajo four minutes later broke the U's hearts.

It was a cruel defeat for Dunne and the squad, who had taken the game to Orient and deserved at least a share of the spoils.

U’s boss Joe Dunne made two changes to his line-up, bringing in Gavin Massey and Craig Eastmond, for Clinton Morrison and Marcus Bean.

The U’s started the game on the front foot, and had the better of the chances in the first ten minutes.

Freddie Sears had the U’s first effort, shooting straight at the home keeper, before his next effort was blocked for a corner.

Just as the clock was ticking over into the tenth minute, Sears had his third effort, volleying straight into Jakupovic’s hands from the edge of the box.

The nearest the O’s came to testing Sam Walker was when a low cross fell just behind Cox, who was baring down on the U’s six yard box.

On fourteen minutes, Ryan Dickson picked up the clearance from his own corner, crossed low to the near post, but Craig Eastmond’s clever flick came to nothing.

The first bit of real quality in the U’s box resulted in the first goal of the game, as former U’s forward David Mooney made it 1-0.

A corner was cleared, found its way to Cox on the left and his first time cross was volleyed high into the roof of the net to open the scoring.

That came on twenty minutes and seemed to galvanise the O’s, who spent the next few minutes knocking the ball around confidently.

They didn’t really test Walker until thirty three minutes though, as Lisbie cut inside Okuonghae and forced a near post save.

David Mooney got a shot away five minutes later but Walker was on hand to save to keep the score at 1-0.

The half finished with two long range efforts for the U’s, with both Vose’s shot and Eastmond’s header failing to test the home keeper. 

For forty five minutes, the only difference between the two teams, separated by sixteen places in the League One table, was a touch of quality finishing in the penalty area.

That quality was matched within a minute of the restart, with Gavin Massey providing great technique on more than one occasion in the same move.

Unfortunately, Jakupovic in the O’s goal was equal to everything and made three excellent saves to preserve his side’s lead.

Dickson then made inroads into the Orient backline, before crossing from the left for Sears, whose shot was blocked.

On the hour, Dunne made his first change, bringing on Marcus Bean for Craig Eastmond, who looked like he took a knock on the ankle in a challenge with Lloyd James.

James was one of four Orient players who had appeared for the U’s in the past and two of the others, Mooney and Lisbie combined well to set up Orient’s first chance of the half.

The dangerous Dean Cox was on the end of things but could only shoot wide before the U’s regained their control again.

Macauley Bonne replaced Dominic Vose with twenty three minutes remaining and within a minute of coming on, volleyed over the bar from the edge of the box.

As the U’s continued the onslaught, Jabo Ibehre and Freddie Sears both tried their luck from distance.

Ibehre turned well before shooting straight at the keeper and then Sears’ snapshot had the home stopper scrambling down to his left to save.

On seventy nine minutes, the U’s were rewarded for their efforts, as sub Bean gave them a deserved equaliser.

Dickson’s initial throw in was cleared back out to him, he took his time to size up the cross and put it towards the far post.

Bean climbed highest and his downward header found its way into the bottom corner via the fingertips of Jakupovic.

The U’s went looking for a winner straight away but were caught with a sucker punch on the break three minutes later.

Lisbie picked up a clearance and cleverly found sub Shaun Batt in the left hand channel.

Batt was more fortunate with is pass, a lucky ricochet helping the ball onto Odubajo, who controlled well and slid the ball under the diving Walker.

The last throw of the dice saw Sanderson replace the industrious Wright, but it was the hosts who would have the final effort of the game.

Cox broke down the left but his shot flew over Walker’s crossbar before the referee blew time on an extremely entertaining match in East London.

With another promotion chasing team to face on Tuesday night, as Rotherham visit north Essex, Joe Dunne would want to take the second half performance into the game.

It was a cruel loss on a cruel run of games for the U’s, with late goals seeing them defeated three times in the space of eight days. 

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