Plucky Orient out of the FA Cup after defeat at home to classy Newport
Leyton Orient 1
Newport County 2
Emirates FA Cup First Round
Leyton Orient fell at the first hurdle in the Emirates FA Cup for the second year running, beaten 2-1 by Newport County at Brisbane Road.
A goal worthy of winning most cup ties from Jamie Devitt late in the second half gave the League Two leaders victory, after Hector Kyprianou’s strike had cancelled out Ash Baker’s opener for the Welshmen.
In a clash between two sides who were both guided back to the Football League by the late Justin Edinburgh, Orient showed heart – as they have for most of this campaign – but were ultimately lacking the quality of the away side.
Newport, 10 points clear of 13th-placed Orient in the league, signalled their intentions as early as 20 seconds in – Jamie Proctor heading over from a left-wing cross.
The Welsh side made just two changes from their midweek defeat at Carlisle, while Orient made five from their loss at Forest Green Rovers – and it took time for them to gel.
Mickey Demetriou’s long throw fell to Devitt, who really should have done better than slicing a left-footed effort wide of the O’s goal.
At the other end Danny Johnson’s shot on the turn was easily held by Nick Townsend.
Orient’s best chance in the first half-hour fell to Conor Wilkinson, who cut inside from the right but hit his left-footed effort was straight at Townsend.
Tristan Abrahams had a half shout for penalty waved away before he really should have put Newport ahead. A long ball by Ryan Haynes found its way to Abrahams, whose volley took a slight deflection for a corner.
Then, on 36 minutes, County were ahead. A rush of blood to the head from O’s goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux saw him coming charging out of his goal, and his attempted pass to left-back Joe Widdowson fell woefully short, to promising Newport right-back Baker, who curled the ball home from an acute angle on the right, 30 yards from goal.
But Orient have been gutsy this year - and were level just four minutes later. A corner from the left was headed back into the danger zone from the right, and spectacularly volleyed home by Kyprianou from just inside the penalty area.
Baker should have made it 2-1 to County on the stroke of half-time when a cross from Haynes, worked on by Abrahams, fell to the right-back, who, on his weaker left foot, put the ball over from three yards when it looked easier to score.
Newport have had something of a romance with the cup in recent seasons, reaching round five two years ago when they eventually lost to Manchester City. The season before that they lost to Spurs in a replay after scaring the north Londoners in the first game.
And they confirmed their place in round two this year by securing victory in the second half.
Four minutes after the restart they could have been back in front. Devitt on the right cut inside before curling a shot back off the post with Vigouroux well beaten.
On 63 minutes Newport had a big shout for a spot-kick when Harris went down under a challenge, but the referee waved away the appeals.
But Newport were not to be denied, and the moment of the match came on 77 minutes when Devitt curled the ball in from 30-yards plus.
Orient didn’t give up and pushed on, but Newport held on for a deserved victory.
For the O’s it’s back to the bread and butter of League Two.
Orient: Vigouroux, Widdowson, Coulson, McAnuff, Wilkinson, Dayton, Dennis, Akinola, Turley, Kyprianou, Johnson
Subs: Sargeant, Cisse, Happe, Clay, Maguire-Drew, Brophy, Wright