Orient keep play-off dream alive with victory over Oldham at Brisbane Road
Leyton Orient 2
Oldham Athletic 1
Leyton Orient kept their play-off hopes alive after scoring more than one goal in a game for the first time in 14 matches in beating Oldham Athletic 2-1 at Brisbane Road today.
The Os strikes – both of which came in the first-half - were gifts from the Latics.
First right-back Harry Clarke, on-loan from Arsenal, woefully under hit a back pass which was latched on to by Conor Wilkinson, who rifled a shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle on the left after eight minutes.
Then, after the visitors had dominated large chunks of the first-half possession and created numerous chances of their own, Nicky Adams gave the ball away to Dan Kemp, who curled a beautiful shot past Laurie Walker in the Oldham goal to make it 2-0 three minutes before the break.
The victory was Orient’s third on the bounce – after 1-0 wins at Newport and Carlisle in the past seven days.
And the goals were more than welcome – the first time they had notched more than one in a game since January 16 against Morcambe - a run which had seen them score just six goals in 20 hours of football. The win was also their first at home since that day against the Shrimps, following four draws and two defeats.
But things could have been different had Oldham not gifted the first-half goals to Orient and, indeed, had the capitalised on some fine play themselves in between.
Keith Curle’s visitors had numerous chances to equalise before Orient scored their second.
First Davis Keillor-Dunn’s header from a left-wing cross flew wide of Lawrence Vigouroux’s goal, before Marcel Hilssner saw a shot over the crossbar following a quick throw-in.
Then Alfie McCalmont, pulling the strings for the Latics along with Callum Whelan, beat two men before shooting just wide of the left-hand post.
Then came Oldham’s best chance of the half. Good play from Whelan in midfield found Hilsssner, who in turn fed Conor McAleny. McAleny’s shot across Vigouroux beat the Os keeper but cannoned back off the far post and rolled apologetically across the goal line and away to safety.
But the Latics’ dominance seemed to then Spur Orient into life as they pushed on for the second. Kemp saw a shot go wide before Danny Johnson drew an acrobatic save from Walker – just seconds before Kemp made it two at the break.
James Brophy could have made the points safe on the strike of half-time but short straight at Walker when clean through.
Oldham continued to push forward after the break and pulled one back on the hour mark when McCalmont curled a shot past Vigouroux from 20 yards.
Then seven minutes later Keillor-Dunn had a chance to make it 2-2 but leant back on his shot which went over the bar.
Player-boss Jobi McAnuff, on for Ouss Cisse, then drew a save from Walker as the game became stretched, before efforts from McCalmont and McAleny for Oldham threatened to spoil Orient’s day.
But the home side held on, and now find themselves in ninth place, four points behind Newport County in the final play-off spot, although the Welshmen do have a game in hand.
Orient: Vigouroux, Widdowson, Cisse (McAnuff, 59), Happe, Clay, Wilkinson (Dennis, 59), Kemp, Brophy, Akinola, Turley, Johnson (Abrhams, 84)
Oldham: Walker, Clarke, Piergianni, Whelan, Kellor-Dunn, Jameson, McAleny, Badan (Fage, 70), Hilssner (Diarra, 55), Adams (Borthwick-Jackson, 80), McCalmont
Referee: Darren Drysdale