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Orient triumph over Under-23s in JE3 Cup

Leyton Orient 6-2 Spurs Under-23s

Wed 19 August 2020, 21:14|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-23s’ first game since March ended in defeat as Leyton Orient became the inaugural winners of the JE3 Cup at the Breyer Group Stadium on Wednesday night (19 August).

In a useful pre-season test against senior Football League opposition, our youngsters battled hard, with Dilan Markanday and Elliot Thorpe on target during a spell in the ascendancy for us as we came back from three down to trail by a single goal at the break.

Kion Etete saw a trio of great chances go begging in the opening stages of the second period, but it was Orient who were more ruthless in front of goal, ex-Spur Lee Angol bagging his second of the night before a trialist and Danny Johnson netted late on to make for an unflattering final scoreline of 6-2.

In a moving post-match presentation, our skipper George Marsh – on loan at Leyton Orient last season – presented a signed Spurs shirt to the family of the late Justin Edinburgh, before Orient’s Jobi McAnuff lifted the JE3 Cup, a newly-minted trophy named after our legendary late left-back and the ex-Orient manager's Foundation following the battle of two of his former clubs.

Midfielder Marsh wasn’t the only member of our side playing against his former team – there was a first run-out since last September for striker Kazaiah Sterling, who spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign on loan with the O’s as he continued his recuperation from a long-term injury.

Jack Roles tracked back to make a vital tackle on Jordan Maguire-Drew inside our box in the opening exchanges of the game, while Jonathan De Bie saved Jamie Turley’s back-post header from a corner. Frustratingly for us, all three of Orient’s first-half goals came from long balls forward from the back, James Dayton and then Angol both beating the off-side trap to run clean through and beat De Bie on 22 and 27 minutes, before home goalkeeper Sam Sargeant’s route-one kick bounced over our defence and allowed Maguire-Drew to make it 3-0 just past the half-hour mark.

We showed real character to get back to 3-2 before the break though, Markanday cutting in from the left and firing right-footed inside the near post on 37 minutes before Thorpe ran onto a low ball into the box from the right and drilled first-time into the net. Thorpe could have made it all square again moments later but his glancing header from Anthony Georgiou’s dangerous cross sailed wide of the back post.

Left winger J’Neil Bennett, one of five changes at the break, saw his shot saved from a tight angle while Etete’s effort from Maurizio Pochettino’s low centre went agonisingly wide as we pushed for a leveller at the beginning of the second half. We were in the game at that stage, but when Angol fired home after a loose pass out from the back to make it 4-2 just before the hour mark, it was a struggle.

Orient changed their whole team thereafter, but Etete should have scored again when he robbed another of Orient’s former Spurs players, goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, but skied his shot-on-the-turn over the bar, before hammering a shot from another Pochettino cross against the far post a couple of minutes later, Vigouroux gratefully smothering it on his line.

Josh Coulson’s header was well saved by our substitute goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi at the other end, but after Conor Wilkinson’s free-kick crashed off the bar, Orient’s trialist scrambled home for 5-2 on 84 minutes, before Johnson ran through in the right channel to wrap it up a minute from time.

Leyton Orient 6-2 Spurs Under-23s

Leyton Orient: Sargeant (Vigouroux 60), Ling (Judd 60), Brophy (Widdowson 60), McAnuff (c) (Cisse 60), Turley (Coulson 60), Happe (Ogie 60), Dayton (Wilkinson 60), Shabani (Clay 60), Angol (Johnson 60), Maguire-Drew (Wright 60), Sotiriou (Trialist 60).

Spurs: De Bie (Oluwayemi 46), Trialist, Markanday, Marsh (c), Okedina (Muir 76), Lyons-Foster (Trialist 76), Tracey (Pochettino 46), Thorpe (Skinner 67), Sterling (Etete 46), Roles (Richards 46), Georgiou (Bennett 46).

Match data

Goals: Leyton Orient - Dayton 22, Angol 27, 59, Maguire-Drew 31, Trialist 84, Johnson 89; Spurs - Markanday 37, Thorpe 42.

Venue: Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Road.

Weather: Light rain, 19 degrees.