FA Cup: Leyton Orient 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
Scott McGleish’s brace helped send Leyton Orient through to the second round of the FA Cup, following a thrilling replay at Brisbane Road this evening.
While it was the travelling Daggers contingent of supporters making all the noise before kick-off, it did not take long for the O’s to silence them taking the lead.
Mark Arber fouled Dean Cox to prevent him advancing into the area and from Charlie Daniels’ free kick, Scott McGleish nipped in unmarked at the back post after just 82 seconds, having been played onside by the static Solomon Taiwo.
Much like on Saturday at Yeovil, Daggers were shell-shocked in the opening stages and only a mis-placed free header from Alex Revell denied Orient a second on seven minutes.
With their now customary slow start out of the way, the visitors enjoyed success down their right, with Danny Green twice finding the head of Will Antwi, who nodded other on each occasion.
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The winger should have done better on the quarter of an hour mark when he robbed Daniels outside of his own area and was presented with a clear route on goal, but lost his composure and blasted straight at goalkeeper Lee Butcher.
Following a period of sustained high tempo, full-pitch pressing, Daggers then shot themselves in the foot again to concede a second on 24 minutes.
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Roaming forward from left back, Damien McCrory sent an aimless ball towards the edge of the pitch to the feet of Tottenham Hotspur loanee Paul-Jose Mpoku.
With Abu Ogogo attempting to force him to play towards his own goal, the Belgian teenager showed Premier League class to spin on the spot and curl a ball into the path of Alex Revell, who calmly slotted past Lewington.
Two individual mistakes from the visitors. Two goals for Orient.
With Daggers rattled, a former Spur in Daniels blazed just wide from distance and after Bas Savage had a header easily cleared off the line, Revell should have put the game to bed after being fed by Cox.
With John Still bellowing at his side to maintain their energetic approach, Romain Vincelot snatched a shot wide of the post in the penalty area and Savage tamely shot at Butcher.
With a flea in their ear, Daggers became more direct after the break with a series of balls aimed at Butcher’s six-yard box, but when Vincelot did hook the ball into the net, it was ruled out for a barge on the keeper.
The Orient threat continued and Cox, who tormented McCrory all evening, waltzed past the Irishman with ease seconds later, but the commanding Antwi once again acted as the last line of defence and intercepted.
Just when it seemed as though every second ball was destined to fall to a red shirt, Still replaced Jon Nurse with Gavin Tomlin and the game changed.
Another diagonal cross into the box was diverted towards goal by Arber, but blocked at close range by the hand of O’s captain.
While the intent was questionable, the resulting penalty was very deliberate as Green buried it perfectly in the bottom corner of the net.
The drama did not stop there.
Just 60 seconds later, with the hosts in a daze, Orient’s defenders simply watched the ball roll across the edge of their area, onto the right boot of Taiwo, who side-footed it into the bottom corner. Game on.
It could, and should, have been a complete turnaround when Tomlin jumped on a rebound in the Orient area and stared down Butcher from eight yards.
However, the striker, who has not scored all season, passed it into the keeper’s arms to give the hosts an lifeline they soon capitalised on.
Substitute James Walker ran at his marker and won a corner, from which Cox picked out the head of McGleish and the ball cannoned off the underside of the bar and into the net.
Green was again the provider on 83 minutes, but, with the keeper stranded, substitute Damian Scannell missed an open goal from one yard as everyone else watched it crawl unguarded across the goal-line.
It proved to be the last good chance for the visitors and when the final whistle blew, Orient were relived to have held on and Daggers were left measuring the fine margins of error.
Orient: Butcher, Omozusi, Chorley, Forbes, Cox, McGleish, Revell (Tehoue, 75 mins), Daniels, Spring, Smith, Mpoku (Walker, 56 mins).
Subs not used: Brown, Jarvis, Cestor, Millwood, Lovelock.
Daggers: Lewington, McCrory (Currie, 87 mins), Antwi, Arber, Green, Nurse (Tomlin, 64 mins), Savage, Taiwo, Ogogo, Vincelot, Gain (Scannell, 77 mins).
Subs not used: Roberts, Palsson, Bingham, Pinney.
Attendance: 2,901, including 794 Daggers fans.