REPORT: Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 1
Boro post first win of the new season
Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 1
npower League 1
LUCAS Akins began to repay the investment made in him by Stevenage as the winger grabbed the winner at Orient on Tuesday evening.
Boro spent almost �100,000 to prize the strong winger away from Tranmere Rovers in the summer as part of Gary Smith’s rebuilding plan and the midfielder had a hand in Robin Shroot’s equaliser in Saturday’s draw against Carlisle before firing home the winner in his first start for the club on Tuesday.
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Akins was one of three changes made by Smith for this midweek encounter with Jon Ashton and Shroot also coming into the team in place of Greg Tansey, Filipe Morais and Bondz N’Gala.
Boro were awarded a free-kick 23 minutes into this game and after a little bit of pinball in the box following Freeman’s set piece, Akins drilled the ball home from 14 yards in a crowded area for the lead.
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With James Dunne and Anthony Grant sitting deep in midfield, Boro are set up for this sort of situation, though the latter does need to stay on his feet a little more after finding it rather easy to hit the turf under the minimum of pressure.
That said Grant does look a terrier of a midfielder when pressed to defend and his tracking back aided Boro no end when Orient did, occasionally, get forward.
Orient’s first chance saw Michael Symes nod a looping header wide of Chris Day’s goal but it was hardly a warning shot as the home side’s passing game was never really allowed to get going.
Yet nobody was making the game tick over for Stevenage in the centre of the park, either, with the visitors hoping their wide men could do the necessary damage.
With the lead in the bag, Dunne and Grant sat a little deeper which in itself caused those ahead of them to drift slowly downfield to bridge the gap between the back six and the front four.
The result was that striker Marcus Haber found himself isolated against two centre-backs at times, with the front man struggling to take possession of the ball for long enough to bring his team-mates into the match.
For that reason Shroot’s time on the pitch was cut short with the more physical Tansey brought in to the fold at half-time as Smith looked for his side to regain the initiative and Boro did start well in the second period with a Dunne shot blocked in the area while Grant hit a low effort wide of the target.
Boro made a further change with Morais coming on for Freeman, and the Portuguese winger burst past the right-back with 10 minutes to go before looking up and putting a neat ball into Haber at the far post only for his team-mate to miss his connection.
The nearest Orient came to scoring came from the boot of Ashton. A ball was whipped in from the right and the centre-back, stretching, poked it goalwards.
Day, at the ready, was able to acrobatically palm it away from danger with his right paw and Boro eased to victory.
Leyton Orient: Jones 6, Sawyer 6, Chorley 7, Baudry 6, Cox 7, Griffith 6, Symes 6, Smith 6 (Odubajo 62, 6), Clarke 5, James 6, Mooney 5 (Obafemi 75). Subs not used: McSweeney, Laird, Allsop, Lobjoit, Brunt.
Stevenage: Day 6, Charles 5, Gray, 6 Ashton 7, Roberts 6, Dunne 6, Grant 6, Freeman 5 (Morais 72), Shroot 6 (Tansey 46), Akins 6, Haber 5 (Thalassitis 89). Subs not used: Arnold, Morais, Furlonge, Ball, N’Gala.