Wanderers dropped to fifth place in the 'League Two' table following a 1-0 reverse at Leyton Orient. The only goal of the game came in the 6th minute when Paul Connor followed in Gary Alexander's original shot from the left of the box. Wanderers, urged on by more than 1,200 fans, could have been ahead within the opening minute when Ian Stonebridge fired over from 12 yards and there were other chances leading up to the break, the closest coming on 22 minutes when Matt Bloomfield's long range effort was tipped over by Glenn Morris in The O's goal. However, as the game progressed, Wanderers increasingly lacked the final decisive ball into the penalty area and the final score left fans, players and Wanderers officials similarly frustrated.
Leyton Orient 1
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 25th March 2006
Football League 'League Two'
Team news had seen John Gorman favour Stefan Oakes in the left back role ahead of Clint Easton. Elsewhere Kevin Betsy returned in a three man midfield following his two match ban and Ian Stonebridge started in a front three in favour of Jermaine Easter. Joe Burnell and Sergio Torres were still both ruled out with their respective injuries.
The game was billed as Orient's biggest for five years but it was all Wycombe in the opening stages and had Stonebridge's effort hit the back of the net, the final outcome may have been different. After Connor had put the home side into the lead Wanderers were left chasing the game but never over tested O's keeper Morris. Mooney's ball down the left wing on 18 minutes found Bloomfield but his cross/shot went straight into the 'keepers arms. Bloomfield was unlucky with a long range effort a few minutes later but Wycombe were generally bogged down on another awkward surface where former Wanderer Michael Simpson was his usual tenacious self for The O's.
The second-half brought even less joy for Wycombe and it was the home side who looked more likely to score despite Wanderers throwing almost everything into their strike force. However, for all Wycombe's efforts, a Danny Senda free-kick four minutes after the restart from the edge of the box that went just wide, was as close as it got to an equaliser. Jermaine Easter replaced Rob Lee just after the hour but the former Stockport striker had another nondescript game after receiving little service from his teammates. It was left to Frank Talia to pick out a Craig Easton shot on 66 minutes to keep Wycombe in the game but even the introduction of Clint Easton and Charlie Griffin couldn't inspire John Gorman's side to an equaliser.
Final Score - Leyton Orient 1 Wycombe 0
Speaking to the media after the game John Gorman was attempting to put a brave face on the situation that has seen his side pick up just three points from the last four games. He said "We didn't create as many chances as we'd have liked but I thought we did enough to get a result. I must give credit to Orient though because they worked their socks off. I used every player I could and we never gave up the ghost." He added "Just because Orient have gone above us by a point it's not all over yet. There are a lot of games still to be played and Grimsby have also suffered something of a wobble."
Meanwhile, O's boss Martin Ling said his side had handled the pressure well and defended resolutely. He commented, "I was a lot happier with the second-half performance, there was actually some ball retention. The first half I thought we gave it away too easy. We couldn't really get to grips with their system but did a good solid job and even though they had a lot of play I can't remember Glenn Morris flying across the goal at any stage." Ling was also asked if he thought the substitution of Rob Lee had helped his side. He said "He's a quality player. He was dictating, especially first half when they played a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 depending on whatever way you want to look at it. He's 40 and John (Gorman) was chasing the game, so I can understand the decision but he's still got some good qualities to hurt you if he gets on the ball."
The attendance of 6,720 was Leyton Orient's highest of the season and their biggest since their Play-Off semi-final victory against Hull City in 2001. Wycombe's defeat was the first time in the six Football League meetings between the two sides that Wanderers had dropped any points.
|Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Oakes, Johnson, Williamson, Betsy, Bloomfield, Bowditch (sub 75 Easton), Lee (sub 61 Easter), Stonebridge (sub 75 Griffin), Mooney - subs not used: Martin, Williams
|Leyton Orient: Morris, Miller, Lockwood, Mackie, Zakuani, Corden (sub 71 Barnard), Simpson, Easton, Keith, Alexander, Connor - subs not used: Garner, Tann, Steele, Ibehre
Bookings: Corden (28 foul), Keith (38 foul)
Scorers: Connor (6)
|Referee: Mr L Probert
(away section 1252)
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