O’s woes continue as Tranmere pick up the three points
League One: Tranmere Rovers 2 Leyton Orient 0
Two goals just before half-time sent Orient spinning to the second away defeat in five days as struggling Tranmere Rovers recorded their first win in 13 matches and their first victory in 2012.
Andy Robinson and Enoch Showumni scored the all-important goals as O’s slipped to 17th after taking just two points from their last five games – but the one consolation for Russell Slade’s side is they still remain six points above the drop zone.
Once again injury problems dogged the O’s boss. He was already without defensive trio Scott Cuthbert, Dean Leacock, and Ryan Dickson and things took a turn for the worst when striker Kevin Lisbie was ruled out with a hip problem, as was Dean Cox, who had picked up an ankle injury during training on Friday.
It meant that Adam Reed and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, both signed on loan last Thursday, started the game.
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Jimmy Smith was employed as the holding midfield player, with fit again Dean Mooney wide on the right, Matt Spring and Reed in the centre and Campbell-Ryce on the left, with Calvin Andrew up front on his own.
But it was the home side, looking for that elusive win, that started well and the game was just five minutes old when Robinson fired in a shot, but O’s keeper Paul Rachubka made a smart stop.
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Then, 60 seconds later, the home side had a penalty appeal turned down when Terrell Forbes looked to have pushed Robinson, but referee Andy Madley waved away Tranmere’s claims.
But O’s were quick to hit back and Mooney, restored to the side, saw his header blocked by defender Ian Goodison.
The home side had the better of the early exchanges and John Welsh’s long-range effort was deflected behind for a corner on 11 minutes.
However, it was Orient who came closest to breaking the deadlock on 25 minutes when skipper Spring fired in a free-kick from 25 yards that beat Owain Fon Williams, but thudded against the post.
As the half drew to a close Tranmere started to take a grip and Ryan Brunt fired in a shot from distance that flew just over the bar.
But then Tranmere struck twice in quick succession to wrap up the points. One 36 minutes Rachubka punched away David Bucanan’s corner and Robinson nipped in front of Campbell-Ryce to fire home the opening goal.
The O’s players protested as they believed Robinson had handled the ball, but referee Madley waved their protests away.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Danny Holmes crossed from the right and Showumni netted at the far post as he nudged his way in from of Syam Ben Youssef – and O’s suddenly had a mountain to climb
After the break George Porter replaced the injured Campbell-Ryce and he was soon in the action when his long throw was hooked over the bar by Mooney as Orient desperately looked for a way back into the game.
The visitors looked a better side in the second half and almost cut the deficit on the hour when Spring went close again, but Fon Williams gathered at the second attempt.
As O’s continued to press Ben Chorley saw a header blocked by the Tranmere keeper following Spring’s corner.
The home side almost added a third on the break, but Rachubka saved well from Robinson, before O’s returned to the attack and Spring went close for a third time, but Fon Williams palmed his effort away and Porter was unable to turn the rebound home from a tight angle.
Without a win in five, O’s will now be looking over their shoulders and will be desperate to get back to winning ways against Brentford on Saturday.
Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Goodison, Taylor, Holmes, Buchanan, Welsh, Robinson (Labadie 80 mins), Wallace, Showunmi (Bakayogo 68 mins), Atkins (Weir 89 mins) Brunt. Subs: Coughlin, Stockton.
Orient: Rachubka, Ben Youssef, Chorley, Forbes, McSweeney, Jimmy Smith (Laird 76 mins), Spring, Reed, Campbell-Ryce (Porter 46 mins), Andrew, Mooney. Subs: Lovelock, Cestor, Jamie Smith.
Referee: Andy Madley