Leyton Orient’s woes worsened as they extended their winless run to nine league matches with a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Gateshead at Brisbane Road on Tuesday night.
Orient came into the match on the back of a narrow 1-0 loss to Macclesfield Town, whilst Gateshead conceded in stoppage time to lose 3-2 at Eastleigh last time out. This game was billed as a ‘six-pointer’ with Orient sitting in 18th place prior to kick off, whilst the Tynesiders occupied 17th position.
Steve Davis set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation and made two changes to the team who started against Macclesfield. Jobi McAnuff and James Brophy stepped into the midfield with Romuald Boco and James Dayton making way.
Meanwhile, new Gateshead manager Steve Watson played a 4-4-2 formation in his second game at the helm and made three changes from the team who began at Eastleigh. Neill Byrne captained the side as Theo Vassell dropped out of defence, JJ O’Donnell came into midfield for Richard Peniket whilst Jordan Burrow was favoured over Wes York in attack.
It was a quiet opening five minutes to the game with few chances of note. However, Orient showed glimpses of fluent link up play going forward only to fall foul of the offside trap.
On nine minutes, Brisbane Road was silenced when the visitors took the lead courtesy of striker Jordan Burrow. Luke Hannant’s pin-point delivery from the left found Burrow who rose highest to nod past Orient keeper Charlie Grainger giving the Tynesiders an early breakthrough.
With the goal, Gateshead grew in confidence and were passing the ball with real intent. The Orient faithful were growing more restless, frustrated at their teams’ lack of energy going forward.
Orient’s first real chance of the match came in the 15th minute. David Mooney played an exquisite pass into the path of Jake Caprice whose shot from the right was smothered by Gateshead keeper Dan Hanford.
Gateshead continued to ask questions of the Orient defence. Hannant was left with acres of space on the left before flashing a ball across goal that was deflected behind for a corner.
Unfortunately for the hosts, they were lacking creativity in the final third and responded slowly to going a goal behind. Gateshead were happy to frustrate the O’s and looked to catch them on the counter attack.
Just before the break, Macauley Bonne and Caprice combined nicely before the latter directed a tame effort on goal which failed to trouble Hanford. At the other end, Gateshead come close to doubling their lead but Jordan Preston couldn’t direct his effort on target from O’Donnell’s cross.
Orient were dealt a major blow by conceding early on, and thereafter the tension in the stands transcended onto the pitch with a chorus of boos ringing around the ground at the break. Gateshead went about their business after the goal, and could have been further ahead had their finishing been more clinical.
Both sides made changes at the break with Orient introducing Dayton in place of Joe Widdowson. Meanwhile, Vassell replaced Callum Williams in a defensive change for the visitors.
Gateshead were resilient to protect their lead, and could have extended it when Paddy McLaughlin picked out Burrow just inside the box, who drilled his effort straight into the grateful hands of Grainger.
Despite their team trailing, the Orient fans sang proudly in the hope that their team could find an equalising goal. On the hour mark the attendance was announced as 3,468 with 63 fans having made the long trip from Gateshead, a figure met by a round of applause from the home supporters.
In the 65th minute, Orient’s best chance of the match fell to Mooney who squandered what was a glorious opportunity to equalise. Dayton’s cross picked out the Orient striker who was unmarked in the middle of the goal, but he hesitated for too long and saw his shot saved by a sprawling Hanford.
In the 66th minute, Orient made a double change to try and salvage something from the match. Young striker Ruel Sotiriou replaced Mooney, whilst Boco came on for McAnuff. Gateshead introduced the fresh legs of Luke Maxwell, who replaced Russell Penn in midfield.
Sotiriou got straight in on the action, linking up with Craig Clay who dragged his effort wide before Dayton nodded over from Boco’s curling free kick.
With 10 minutes remaining, Gateshead were gifted their winning goal after poor communication in the Orient ranks. Mark Ellis nodded a long ball past his own goalkeeper who could only watch as Burrow snuck in to bag a brace and secure all three points for his side.
Orient were left to ponder a poor all-round display, leaving boos to ring around Brisbane Road at full-time. For Gateshead, the 486-mile round-trip had been made worthwhile as they secured their first win under new boss Steve Watson.
Leyton Orient XI: (Manager: Steve Davis)
Grainger, Caprice, Widdowson, McAnuff, Bonne, Mooney, Judd, Clay, Happe, Brophy, Ellis.
Subs: Sargeant, Boco, Dayton, Sotiriou, Westbrooke
Gateshead XI: (Manager: Steve Watson)
Hanford, Barrow, Kerr, Bryne, Burrow, Preston, McLaughlin, O’Donnell, Penn, Hannant, Williams.
Subs: Vassell, York, Peniket, Johnson, Maxwell.
Referee: Carl Brook
Attendance: 3468 (63 Away)
The O’s will be looking to bounce back this coming Saturday when they travel to face third-placed Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground for a 3pm kick off.