Leyton Orient v Port Vale
The Matchroom Stadium
Saturday 28th March 2015
Attendance: 5,623 including 454 visiting supporters
Despite bossing the first half at Brisbane Road and leading at the hallway stage thanks to Chris Birchall’s 28th minute opener, Vale suffered a fourth successive defeat after conceding three second half goals.
Vale had goalkeeper Chris Neal sent off ten minutes after the interval after conceding a penalty and substitute Sam Johnson’s first job was to face the resulting spot kick.
He conceded that one, went on to save a second one, but still ended up on the losing side after Vale failed to repeat their first half performance, leaving boss Rob Page scratching his head after watching his side’s collapse.
On loan Sheffield United defender Neill Collins and Portugal under 21 international Francisco Junior were each thrust into the starting eleven for their Vale debuts after joining the club on transfer deadline day.
They were joined in the side by skipper Carl Dickinson and Chris Birchall, as Rob Page made four changes to face a Leyton Orient side struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Vale started the game brightly and went close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasion, with Louis Dodds coming closest the putting the visitors ahead.
Reacting first to a loose ball, he hit a volley which looked all the way a goal, until Orient ‘keeper Alex Cisak dived to his right to make a superb reaction save to deny Dodds the opener.
Vale defender Chris Robertson also went close with a powerful 12 yard volley which was blocked on the line, with Vale unlucky not to have taken the lead once again.
GOAL:The honour fell to CHRIS BIRCHALL, who latched on to a through ball from Michael O’Connor to send him clear of the home defence and the midfielder drilled an angled shot past Cisak to give Vale a deserved lead.
The home side were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half, giving the Vale defence plenty to do, and Chris Neal was forced into making a couple of decent saves.
His afternoon came crashing down around him, however, when he sent Chris Dagnall tumbling inside the box and was given his marching orders and the referee awarded the home side a penalty.
Vale made a substitution, with debutant Junior being the unfortunate man to make was for Sam Johnson to make his way onto the pitch – his first job being to face a spot kick.
GOAL:Johnson could do nothing as DAVID MOONEY effort from 12 yards sent him the wrong way, and the home side had a lifeline, finding themselves on level terms.
Minutes later, with their tails up, Orient had Vale under the cosh and Johnson came to the rescue with a great save to keep out Mooney and fortunately for the Vale Dagnall could only hit the woodwork with the follow-up.
GOAL:However, Vale’s luck didn’t last too long and the home side took the lead on 61 minutes, thanks to an unfortunate own goal from debutant NEILL COLLINS.
Rob Page made a double substitution on 69 minutes when Colin Daniel and Ben Williamson came off the bench to replace Chris Birchall and Tom Pope.
Five minutes later the home side were awarded a second spot kick when Johnson came off his line and caught Mooney as he touched the ball past the Vale ‘keeper.
This time the referee decided not to issue a card of any colour and so Johnson was able to stay on his line to face Mooney for a second time.
Mooney send the penalty low to Johnson’s right, but the youngster reacted brilliantly, going full length to make the save to give Vale a chance of getting something from the game.
Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. Dean Cox made sure of that after racing towards goal in the 84th minute, he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net to cap off the perfect come-back for the home side.
LEYTON ORIENT:Alex Cisak, Gary Sawyer, Scott Cuthbert, Mathieu Baudrey, Dean Cox, David Mooney, Josh Wright, Marvin Bartley, Chris Dagnall, Luke O’Neill, Jake Taylor. SUBS: Elliott Omozusi, Lloyd James, Nathan Clarke, Darius Henderson, Jay Simpson, Gianvito Plasmati, Gary Woods.
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Carl Dickinson, Chris Robertson, Chris Birchall, Louis Dodds, Tom Pope, Michael O’Connor, Neill Collins, Mark Marshall, Fredi Veseli, Francisco Junior. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Ben Williamson, Colin Daniel, Mohamed Coulibaly, Achille Campion
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