Straight out via the Orient Express

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 11 November 2006

Leyton Orient defeated Notts County 2-1 today, to end Notts' Fa Cup campaign in the very first round.

Wayne Corden and Justin Miller put the O's 2-0 up, before substitute Lawrie Dudfield gave Notts slight hope with a last minute strike.

After the heartache of Tuesday's dramatic Carling Cup exit to Wycombe, which cost Notts a money-spinning quarter-final place, Notts suffered yet another cup exit.

Manager Steve Thompson replaced Tuesday's goalkeeper Saul Deeney for Kevin Pilkington in his only change. However, Dan Gleeson returned to the bench in place of Jake Sheridan, after recovering from injury.

Orient, bottom of League 1, went into the game with only one win in there last 15 games. Martin Ling's outfit were promoted from Notts' level last season, but have so far struggled a league above.

Notts set about the game looking to deliver an early blow to the hosts' fragile confidence, and Ian Ross, still without a Notts goal, hit the post with a fine early effort. His snapshot looked to have beaten O's ‘keeper Glyn Garner, but the woodwork denied Notts' midfield man.

Notts failed to build on this however, and that led to the home side taking charge. Craig Easton and Jabo Ibehre both tested Pilkington with close range headers, before the deadlock was easily broken by Corden in the twelfth minute.

White... Bullied by Ibehre

Orient, famed for their passing style last season, proved they haven't lost that ability by producing a good move that ended with Gary Alexander laying the ball to Corden, who drilled his effort across Pilkington and into the bottom left of his net. Notts' defending had to be questioned, with former Mansfield favourite Corden given the freedom of the penalty area.

The powerful Ibehre was causing all sorts of problems for the Magpies' back line, with captain Alan White, a former Orient player, given a particularly difficult time by the front man. After Notts' Junior Mendes shot straight at Garner, Ibehre burst into the box and forced a good save from Pilkington.

It didn't quite have the appeal or the tension of Tuesday night, but it was a fairly attractive game, with Orient beginning to do the most pressing.

Rather against the run of play, Notts were the next to pose a threat. Winger Andy Parkinson dribbled his way past John Mackie and Donny Barnard, before sliding an excellent ball back to Mendes. From just the penalty spot, unmarked, Mendes lashed an excellent opportunity to draw Notts level, well over the bar.

This sparked the visitors into action somewhat, with Mendes again blasting over when well placed. Ross then delivered a clever ball for Pipe, who headed at goal forcing a corner. From the set-piece, Pipe found Jason Lee, but the forward could only header over.

Ibehre then delivered a fine piece of individual skill, outpacing White before Pilkington narrowed the angle well to allow White to get back and challenge. Had Ibehre noticed he was through sooner, it would have surely been 2-0.

White headed over from another Notts corner, before Matt Somner put the ball in the back of the net for Notts. However referee Andy Woolmer disallowed the poked effort for a clear foul on Garner.

Half-Time came and went, without any changes, and Orient immediately searched for a second goal.

Pipe then headed at goal, before the hosts sprung an immediate counter-attack. White was sent dizzy somewhat by Ibehre, who beat him twice before Pipe amazingly chased back and dived into a stunning last-ditch tackle to deny Ibehre.

Notts spurned another chance to equalise when Mike Edwards, from only three yards out, missed the target completely after good work from Lee.

Ibehre then raced clear of his marker White, and faced up to Pilkington. After drawing the Notts stopper from his goal, he spurned another chance by placing his attempted lob wide of the gaping net.

Orient knew they had to build on their precarious advantage, and did so in the form of Miller on the 58th minute. Matt Lockwood delivered a fine corner, and Miller rose, unmarked to thunder a header past Pilkington.

Dudfield entered the action in place of Lee on the hour, but it was Orient who continued to press. If only Ibehre could finish, he would certainly play at a higher level. He headed wide of the goal again, before Easton did the same.

Somner was then booked after a frustrating and clumsy challenge that may have seen him sent off, before Gleeson replaced Gary Silk at right-back.

Dudfield... Another late strike
Mendes again had an effort on the seventieth minute, this time he found the target, but Garner made a smart save.

Tcham N'Toya became Thompson's final throw of the dice when he replaced the jaded Pipe with a little over ten minutes left.

He played his part in Notts' consolation strike, just thirty seconds after the fourth official indicated five minutes of added time. His flick released Dudfield, who finished smartly past Garner. With five minutes left to play, Notts had a slim chance of getting something out of a game they should have been buried in.

Mendes again shot, but it was cleared off the line, and that was all Notts could throw at their higher league counterparts.

The cup exit is sure to disappoint everyone connected with Notts, particularly after all the emotion regarding a successful Carling Cup campaign this term. However, with a sudden dip in form, next week's league game at home to Wrexham now takes on a much huger significance.

Notts. County Match Reports


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