FULL TIME: Thornton double sinks sad Walsall
Leyton Orient 2 Walsall 0 TWO second half strikes from Orient midfielder Sean Thornton helped his side to their first win in eight games to ease their relegation worries, writes Trevor Davies. O s dominated for long spells, but failed to press their adva
Leyton Orient 2 Walsall 0
TWO second half strikes from Orient midfielder Sean Thornton helped his side to their first win in eight games to ease their relegation worries, writes Trevor Davies.
O's dominated for long spells, but failed to press their advantage home until Thornton broke the deadlock with a simple tap-in on 63 minutes and then wrapped up the points 10 minutes later.
After the game O's boss Geraint Williams said: "It was an important win and when we get three points it's big.
"It was about us getting back to basics and I thought we did that and deserved the three points."
Williams made four changes to the side that had been beaten 2-0 at Oldham on Tuesday night.
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Goalkeeper Glenn Morris came back into the side for the first time since November 21, after Jamie Jones was ruled out after suffering a back injury at Boundary Park.
Defender Ben Chorley recovered from a hamstring injury to replace Luke Ashworth at the heart of the defence. While, in midfield, Sean Thornton earned a recall in place of Jimmy Smith and veteran striker Scott McGleish replaced James Scowcroft up front.
And it was McGleish who had the first chance in the opening minute, as he tried to turn in Thornton's cross from the left.
The game quicky burst into life and when an O's attack broke down, Walsall raided rapidly, but Morris was out smartly to save at Troy Deeney's feet.
The O's hit back quickly and carved out two good chances in as many minutes.
After some slick build up play, McGleish crossed from the right and Tehoue's blast from 12 yards was well-saved by Rene Gilmartin in the visiting goal.
Then, as the home side continued to press, Tehoue tried his luck from the edge of the area, but he was again denied by the keeper.
Orient should have taken the lead on 26 minutes when Jason Demetriou and Charlie Daniels linked well together down the left.
The full back found Tehoue who was six yards out, but Gilmartin did well to block his shot and watched it roll past the post for a corner.
The home side stepped up the pressure and from a Daniels free-kick, McGleish headed the ball across goal, but Darryl Westlake cleared the ball from under his own bar.
O's almost struck on the stroke of half-time, when the impressive Daniels floated a free-kick from the left and as the ball bounced in the area both Tehoue and Aaran Doran had shots that were blocked.
It was a half the O's dominated in terms of possession, but they failed to make the breakthrough, despite creating some decent chances, while although Walsall looked neat the tidy in possession they failed to test Morris in the home goal during the first 45 minutes.
O's were forced to make a change early in the second half when skipper Stephen Purches limped off to be replaced by Andrew Cave-Brown.
After an untidy start to the second half O's made the breakthrough on 63 minutes when McGleish slipped Doran in down the right and when his shot was parried by Gilmartin, Thornton reacted first and slid the ball into the net.
The O's midfielder celebrated his fourth league goal of the season and picked up a booking in the process.
The goal gave Orient a huge lift and they pressed for a second, but the closest they came was a shot that skidded past the post by Demetriou.
However, the O's delivered a killer blow on 73 minutes. Tehoue stumbled in the area, but the ball fell lose to McGleish, who helped in on to Thornton and he coolly beat Gilmartin to all but end the game as a contest.
That was the last significant action for Tehoue, who gave way everything to the cause was replaced by Ryan Jarvis.
Walsall boss Chris Hutchings made a double substitution with Darren Byfield and Peter Till entering the fray for the final 13 minutes but it was still Orient who threatened and Demetriou raced through on goal, but overrun the ball and allowed Gilmartin to make the save.
After that O's saw the game out comfortably and were well worth their win. Indeed, it could have been even more emphatic, as McGleish and Thornton both went close with shots from distance in stoppage time.
Leyton Orient: Morris 7, Purches 6 (Cave-Brown 53), Chorley 7, Mkandawire 6, Daniels 8, Doran 6, Thornton 7, Chambers 7, Demetriou 6, Tehoue 7 (Jarvis 74), McGleish 6. Subs: Giddens, Ashworth, Cave-Brown, Baker, Smith, Scowcroft.
Walsall: Gilmartin 7, Sansara 5, Jones 7 (Till 77), Deeney 5, Nicholls 6 (Byfield 77), Taundry 6, O'Keefe 6 (Bradley 82 mins), Westlake 6, Vincent 7, Gray 5, McDonald 5. Subs: Ince, Hughes, Smith, Bradley, Till, Grigg, Byfield.
Referee: David Phillips.
Attendance: 3,685 (inc 178 Walsall fans).
Bookings: Thornton (63 minutes unsporting behaviour).