Max factor is crucial as unlucky O’s crash to a last-gasp defeat at high-flying United
Leeds United 1 Leyton Orient 0 MAX Gradel broke Leyton Orient hearts as he stepped off the bench to score an 89th minute winner for Leeds United on Tuesday night. Geraint William s men proved to be more than a match for the League One leaders at Elland Ro
Leeds United 1
Leyton Orient 0
MAX Gradel broke Leyton Orient hearts as he stepped off the bench to score an 89th minute winner for Leeds United on Tuesday night.
Geraint William's men proved to be more than a match for the League One leaders at Elland Road and deserved at least a point for their efforts.
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Utilising a 4-5-1 formation the visitors dominated proceedings and could have easily headed into the break a goal to the good.
But despite their sluggish start, Simon Grayon's men looked the more dangerous side in the final third of the pitch.
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On-loan Wolves striker Sam Vokes should have broken the deadlock after the half hour mark when he poked over with just Jamie Jones to beat, after latching on to Jermaine Beckford's cushioned header.
Luke Summerfield, Sean Thornton, Adam Chambers and Andros Townsend all fired efforts at the Leeds goal, but they were either stifled by goalkeeper Casper Ankergren or a defender's body.
After the interval, Orient continued to contain Leeds, but Grayson's tactical acumen was to pay dividends when he switched to a three-man attack with Gradel replacing Vokes to form an attacking triumvirate alongside Beckford and Robert Snodgrass.
But William's team continued to put up defensive barricades and frustrate the home side. Tamika Mkandawire produced a superb block tackle on Beckford inside the area as Leeds stepped up a gear.
The effervescent Gradel was proving to be a constant threat and the tricky winger's cross from the right needed Jones' touch over the top with eight minutes to play.
With just a minute left on the clock the second-half substitute made the breakthrough.
The Leicester City loanee evaded the attentions of Orient's would-be tacklers on the edge of the box and thumped a left-footed effort into the top corner of the net to break the hearts of the visitors and their supporters.
Leeds demonstrated the hallmark of all successful sides - winning when not at their best - while Orient showed signs of a team embroiled in a relegation dog fight - a tireless work ethic repaid by merciless bad luck.
Leyton Orient: Jones; Purches, Chorley, Mkandawire, Daniels; Smith, Thornton, Summerfield (Jarvis, 91), Chambers, Townsend, McG-leish (Scowcroft, 59). Subs: Morris, Ashworth, Melligan, Demetriou, Cave-Brown.