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Maidenhead United sunk by first half goals as Leyton Orient keep pressure up on leaders Salford

Ryan Bird missed a good first half opportunity for the Magpies

 

Maidenhead United 0, Leyton Orient 2

First half goals from Macauley Bonne and James Alabi saw Leyton Orient seal the points and inflict a second straight home defeat on the Magpies at York Road.

In difficult conditions there wasn’t a great deal to choose between the two sides but Orient kept the pressure on leaders Salford thanks to two moments of quality from Bonne and Alabi.

Bonne did terrifically well to direct home his 10th goal of the season with a powerful header from Jobi McAnuff’s right-wing cross.

James Alabi – who’d earlier brushed the post with a low shot - then all but settled the contest on the half hour when he cut inside Chinua Cole’s challenge and swept the ball past Carl Pentney.

The Magpies should have levelled matters in the 18th minute, when the returning Ryan Bird was presented with a gilt edged opportunity to score, but Marvin Ekpiteta made a fabulous recovering challenge. He then thwarted James Akintunde’s diving header with a clearance off the goalline.

Maidenhead were much improved from their heavy defeat to Salford last weekend, but, when chances came their way they lacked the quality to take advantage of them. Later in the half there were half-hearted appeals for a penalty when Akintunde went down in the box under pressure from Joe Widdowson, while Max Worsfold curled harmlessly wide after another spell of possession and pressure from the hosts. On the stroke of half-time O’s keeper Dean Brill was stretched for the first time, backpeddling to tip Josh Kelly’s curling strike over the crossbar.

Having matched Orient for workrate and territory, Magpies manager Alan Devonshire will have been disappointed to see his side trailing by two goals at the interval. And his side took the game to their second placed opponents after the interval. After McAnuff very nearly caught out Pentney with a lob from the edge of the area, the Magpies came within a whisker of finding the target when Akintunde swept Worsfold’s low cross just wide of Brill’s post in the 51st minute. Bird appeared to be brought down by Brill in the box but the Magpies’ appeals again fell on deaf ears.

Substitute Jordan Archer fired over after combining well with Herson Alves in the 81st minute, and Alves then stung the palms of Brill with a rifled volley but the Orient defence held firm. The visitors might have extended their advantage on 85 minutes, when Bonne slipped in  James Brophy down the left but Pentney raced out to make the save. There was still time for Brill to keep out Remy Clerima’s point blank header and at that point the Magpies must have known it wouldn’t be their day.

Devonshire  said: “We lacked quality today. I thought the two goals were poor.

“Second half we were better, but we’re still not getting the penalties. I don’t know what we’ve got to do to get one. Listen we’re disappointed but we go again against Boreham Wood next week. That’s all we can do.

“We needed a bit of luck today. We’ve had bits and pieces where we couldn’t score, but it wasn’t our day.”

O’s boss Justin Edinburgh reflected: “It was an unknown for us this season to be defeated but that was the reaction we all wanted in terms of the result. There were limited amount of chances.

“Both teams cancelled each other out with the same formation so it was difficult to play free-flowing football but when the chances came along, James Alabi and Macauley Bonne dispatched them really well.”

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Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Obileye, Massey, Cole, Odametey, Worsfold (Clifton 67’), Comley, Akintunde (Archer 77’), Kelly, Bird (Alves 73’). Subs not used: Smith, Mulley. 

 

Leyton Orient: Brill, Widdowson, Coulson, Ekpiteta, Judd; McAnuff, Clay, Dayton (Brophy 70’), Lee (Gorman 75’); Bonne, Alabi (Harrold 85’). Subs not used: Sargeant, Ling. 

 

Attendance: 2,016

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