Morgan’s strike settles relegation scrap
Cheltenham 0 Leyton Orient 1 A Dean Morgan strike midway through the first half settled Saturday s relegation battle at Whaddon Road, writes MATT DINER. It was a well-deserved win for Orient against a terrible Cheltenham side, as Geraint Williams men reg
Cheltenham 0 Leyton Orient 1
A Dean Morgan strike midway through the first half settled Saturday's relegation battle at Whaddon Road, writes MATT DINER.
It was a well-deserved win for Orient against a terrible Cheltenham side, as Geraint Williams' men registered their eighth away win of the campaign, to move them three points closer to survival.
Adam Boyd was a noticeable absentee from the squad, after aggravating his ankle injury in the mid-week reserve game, while Morgan came in for Sean Thornton, who had picked up a groin injury during training.
In a first half lacking much quality, Orient's opening goal after 25 minutes was a respite from the dull direct style of play offered by their hosts.
Scott McGleish leapt brilliantly to play in Jason Demetriou, whose delicate touch set Morgan free and from the left hand corner of the area, fired a well-directed shot into the bottom corner of goalkeeper Scott Brown's net.
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Apart from that, there were few talking points, with the only other opportunity falling to McGleish, who after making an excellent run was played in by Charlie Daniels.
The former Barnet man found himself free in the same area of the pitch as Morgan, but instead opted for the near post. Sadly, for the on-loan striker, he miscued his effort wide.
Cheltenham, in the opening period, showed why they will no doubt be relegated this term.
Defensively, they were poor, often allowing McGleish plenty of time to receive and turn on the ball, whilst going forward they offered little, apart from the pace of the gloved Michail Antonio, although he produced little in the way of an end product.
The Robins were direct, often looking to use the height and strength of Leon Constantine, but with both Jordan Spence and the returning Tamika Mkandawire dominant, they did not create one opportunity in the opening 45 minutes.
The second period was a slightly more entertaining affair and Orient could have doubled their lead five minutes into the half.
Morgan played in McGleish, whose movement again was too much for the Cheltenham defence.
The effort was blocked on the line by Brown and although Simon Church reached the ball first, his effort was blocked by Michael Townsend.
Town had their first opportunity in the 74th minute and it took an excellent save from Jamie Jones to maintain Orient's lead.
Substitute David Hutton used his pace to run at Spence, who had moved to right back after Alton Thelwell came on for the injured Stephen Purches, and after creating an angle, fired firmly towards the top corner, but was denied by the former Everton goalkeeper who flicked his effort over the bar.
Cheltenham pressurised late on, earning a number of corners and had a good shout for a penalty turned down after it appeared Jimmy Smith handled in the area.
However, despite their height advantage, Orient held firm to seal a victory that will go a long way to securing their survival in League One.