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Match Report | Leyton Orient 0-1 Colchester United

Early Freddie Sears strike seals victory

5 February 2022

Colchester United made it four games unbeaten with Wayne Brown, Joe Dunne and Dave Huzzey at the helm, with a slender 1-0 victory at Leyton Orient.

The goal came within the opening exchanges of the game, with Freddie Sears firing a ruthless effort into the top corner beyond Lawrence Vigouroux with just four minutes on the clock. 

Sam Hornby was tested a couple of times by Aaron Drinan, but the hosts rarely put the U's under any lasting pressure as Brown's side looked to take advantage on the counter attacks. 

A valuable three points for the North Essex side sees them move up into twenteith position in Sky Bet League Two, picking up a vital win. 

Wayne Brown opted for four changes to his starting eleven, with a fifth forced upon him as Tom Dallison picked up an injury in the warm up at Brisbane Road. 

The four original changes saw Alan Judge, Owura Edwards, John Akinde (COVID) and Emyr Huws (Injury), all dropping out, with Brendan Wiredu, Luke Hannant, Corie Andrews and Tyreik Wright coming in to take their places. 

The fifth change saw Tom Dallison drop out, with Tommy Smith coming in to take his place in the starting eleven. 

Colchester United took just five minutes to get their noses in front in East London and it was Freddie Sears who rifled home his thirteenth of the season. The U's caught the O's napping at the back with a swift counter attack after Sam Hornby had denied Dan Moss' header from a corner. 

After clearing the ball up to the other end of the pitch, Kenlock played it out wide to Corie Andrews who delivered a deep cross to Sears on the edge of the penalty area. His shot, hit first time, arrowed into the top corner of Vigouroux's goal, catching him out at the near post. 

The remaining forty minutes of the first period were fairly uneventful, although a familiar narrative was playing out in East London. Kenny Jackett's Orient side looked to break quickly and create the chances in front of the U's goal, but lacked any end product and failed to test Sam Hornby. 

Wayne Brown's side were content to be a counter attacking side, with Corie Andrews and Freddie Sears doing their fair share of the running up front, to keep the pressure on the O's defence. Towards the end of the first period, the visiting side were able to carve out a couple of half-chances, with Freddie Sears testing Vigouroux with a close-range effort from a weaving run, with Gene Kennedy also seeing a shot blocked away for a corner. 

But it was a half that Colchester United would be happy with. The only dampner on the first forty-five minutes of action was that Cole Skuse had to be withdrawn after a clash of heads with Jordan Brown, with the Orient man also having to be taken off. 

The second half began in a similar manner, with the hosts putting the pressure on the U's back line, but struggling to make a real impact on Hornby. But the U's 'keeper was called into action with a simple save when Aaron Drinan had a free header in the centre of the penalty area. 

Colchester United had a great chance to go further ahead when Freddie Sears looked to pick Luke Hannant out at the back post. Sears was forced wide, but looked to find Hannant at the back post who couldn't quite stretch enough to add to the U's tally. 

But the ball was moved quickly up to the other end of the field by the hosts, and Aaron Drinan had the best chance of the game for the home side, after breaking through the defence. One-on-one, the former Ipswich Town striker couldn't beat Hornby's outstretched arm with the U's able to clear their lines in what was the final major chance of the game for Kenny Jackett's side. 

The last fifteen minutes were tense, but rarely were the U's really tested. In fact, it was the visitors who really should have added to their tally, with Owura Edwards forcing a brilliant save out of Lawrence Vigouroux after a weaving run into the penalty area. 

But following seven minutes of injury time, Wayne Brown's side emerged victorious, taking three points from their opponents in East London. 

The four game unbeaten run means the U's move up to twentieth position with thirty points from twenty-eight games, eight clear of the bottom two. 

Up next for Wayne Brown's side is a tough away trip to Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening, who weren't in action this weekend. 

Leyton Orient starting XI: Vigouroux, Smith (Sotiriou 79'), Kahn, Mitchell, Drinan, Moss, Pratley, Beckles, Young, Ogie, Brown (Kyprianou 44'). 

Unused subs: Byrne, Reilly, Happe, Sweeney, Ray. 

Colchester United starting XI: Hornby, Smith, Wiredu, Hannant, Skuse (Kennedy 44'), Sears, Andrews (Edwards 80'), Kenlock, Eastman, Tchamadeu, Wright (Welch-Hayes 63'). 

Unused subs: Collins, Coxe, Lowe. 

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