Alexander’s double sinks his old side
Millwall 2 Leyton Orient 1 GARY ALEXANDER came back to haunt his old club after his two second-half strikes ended Orient s four-game winning streak on the road, writes MATT DINER. The game at the New Den will however be remembered for the actions of aro
Leyton Orient 1
GARY ALEXANDER came back to haunt his old club after his two second-half strikes ended Orient's four-game winning streak on the road, writes MATT DINER.
The game at the New Den will however be remembered for the actions of around 500 Millwall supporters, who, when the final whistle blew, ran on to the pitch taunting Orient fans and clashed with both police and stewards in the process.
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Police horses were called, as order was finally restored some 10 minutes later, but there will surely be ramifications for the south London club.
On the pitch, Adam Boyd was not included in the squad due to a virus while, as is the custom for away games, Paul Terry returned to the starting line-up for JJ Melligan, with Jimmy Smith moving to the right-hand side of midfield.
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The change initially paid dividends with Terry proving a good foil for his fellow midfielders to surge forward and it looked like the plan was working when Simon Church gave O's the lead a minute into the second half, however Alexander struck back twice to earn his side the win.
The defeat was harsh on Orient, who more than matched their play-off chasing opponents for the majority of the game, but in Alexander and Zak Whitbread, Millwall had the two best players on the park, with the striker in particular making a big difference.
The front man's physical presence gave Jordan Spence a torrid time over the 90 minutes, while at the other end, Whitbread was dominant aerially and had the better of McGleish for most of the game.
Orient were quick out the blocks and had an opportunity to make an early breakthrough, as Church and Charlie Daniels hit Millwall on the counter attack, with the latter brought down in the box by Andy Frampton for a penalty.
Sadly, O's could not take advantage as McGleish stepped up and hit a low, weak effort to the left, which keeper Andy Forde saved with ease.
Whitbread had Millwall's first effort on goal after 15 minutes. His free-kick from the halfway line had Jamie Jones scrambling back, thankful that the effort sailed just wide.
The home side were building momentum and, moments later, an Alexander flick was collected by James Henry who, after out-pacing Spence, was through on goal, but his weak shot went straight at Jones, as the sides went in level at the break.
The O's made the perfect start to the second period, when one minute in, McGleish played in Church, who showed good pace and strength to hold off Whitbread and slot past the onrushing Forde.
The goal galvanised the visitors, who were much sharper then their play-off chasing opponents and for the first time in the match, Sean Thornton had time on the ball to dictate play.
Millwall, however, responded and equalised with some style after 70 minutes, when a superb pass from substitute Lewis Grabban was controlled then powered past Jones by Alexander.
The Lions looked the most likely to find a winner and it duly came with three minutes remaining, when a deep cross from Grabban was headed home from an unmarked Alexander.