Brandy snaps Geraint’s unbeaten record!
Hereford United 2 Leyton Orient 1 GERAINT WILLIAMS tasted defeat for the first time since becoming manager of Orient as he watched his side commit cardinal errors at both ends of the pitch, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Quite simply, O s should have won this rele
Hereford United 2 Leyton Orient 1
GERAINT WILLIAMS tasted defeat for the first time since becoming manager of Orient as he watched his side commit cardinal errors at both ends of the pitch, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
Quite simply, O's should have won this relegation six-pointer with ease.
In terms of possession they were dominant and controlled the game to such an extent that Hereford could hardly get out of their own half during the second 45 minutes.
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But some shoddy defending in the opening 15 minutes allowed Hereford to establish a two-goal lead and then some wasteful finishing after the break prevented Orient from taking something tangible from the game.
In the end, the difference between the two teams was Manchester United youngster Febian Brandy, who inspired the home side's stunning start.
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He scored the opener, then won a penalty, and his pace caused Orient all sorts of problems as he drifted along the front-line, as both sets of defences looked nervous in the early stages.
Boss Williams named the same starting 11 that had won at Hartlepool the previous weekend, and Orient had just as much of the play in the opening 15 minutes as the home side.
Indeed, it was the visitors who created the first two chances.
On just two minutes, Charlie Daniels crossed from the left and when Scott McGleish flicked the ball on, it hit Hereford defender Godwin Antwi on the arm, but referee Anthony Taylor waved away the first of what turned out to be four penalty shouts from the visitors.
From the resultant corner Tamika Mkandawire saw an effort cleared off the line by Richard Jackson.
Mkandawire, skipper for the day on his return to Hereford, as Stephen Purches was still troubled by a thigh strain, looked uncharacteristically uncertain early on.
Indeed, an O's rearguard that had kept three successive clean sheets looked shaky and within six minutes Hereford grabbed the lead with their first real opportunity.
Matt Done got the better of Jordan Spence down the left, who was playing at right-back instead of Purches, and he slipped the ball to Brandy.
There looked to be no danger as the striker had his back to goal, but the O's defence allowed him to swivel and fire a shot across Jamie Jones, which ended up nestling in the far corner of the net.
It got worse on 16 minutes when Brandy raced down the right, beat Alton Thelwell for pace and ended up being bundled over by the O's defender after they got in a tangle.
Steve Guinan fired the ball into the corner of the net as Jones, a penalty hero at MK Dons, went the wrong way.
O's took a while to recover and it was past the midway point of the half when Jimmy Smith tested Peter Gulacsi in the home goal, but his strike from the edge of the area was comfortably saved.
Brandy continued to tease the visiting defence and first he fired an effort into the side-netting and then missed a golden chance to kill the game.
Adam Chambers conceded possession and Done broke away and squared the ball across goal to Brandy but, with just Jones to beat, he hammered the ball high over the bar.
However, O's gradually gained a foothold in the game and Scott McGleish, who was a constant threat in the air all game, headed over Jason Demetriou's cross.
Orient threw themselves a lifeline on the stroke of half time when Mkandawire scrambled the ball home after the home side failed to deal with a Daniels free-kick.
Mkandawire almost levelled before the end of the half when he caught Gulacsi off his line with a speculative effort from distance, but the keeper scrambled back to save.
After the break, Andrew Cave-Brown replaced Thelwell and O's, playing down the slope, slowly took control and for the last 20 minutes pounded the home side, who struggled to get out of their own half.
The introduction of Dean Morgan on the hour gave O's more momentum as Hereford were forced to play on the break. Brandy fired wide, but all the action was at the other end.
Spence headed a Daniels corner wide and McGleish went close.
Morgan then found McGleish with an astute pass and the O's striker swept past Karl Broadhurst but was denied by Gulacsi's stunning save.
Morgan then burst through, but was again denied by the home keeper and in the last minute substitute Ryan Jarvis sent a header wide from Demetriou's cross, as Hereford just about held on.