Revenge is sweet for scorer Scotty

Wycombe Wanderers 0 Leyton Orient 1 WITH the stage set and script written, it was inevitable that Orient striker Scott McGleish should be the man to secure three vital points for the O s against his former club in this League One six-pointer, writes JO

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Leyton Orient 1

WITH the stage set and script written, it was inevitable that Orient striker Scott McGleish should be the man to secure three vital points for the O's against his former club in this League One six-pointer, writes JOHNNY DAVIES.

The veteran striker left Wanderers in controversial fashion following a bust-up with manager Peter Taylor last season, and his 77th minute winner was the O's reward for a much-improved second-half performance at a blustery Adams Park.

Despite failing to carve open the Wanderers back-line in a tepid first half on Saturday, Geraint Williams' side produced a number of free-flowing moves in the second period, and when Jason Demetriou set free substitute Adrian Patulea on the left, the Romanian whipped in a pinpoint cross with his first significant touch, allowing McGleish to bravely head home from 10 yards.

With the wind against them, the O's started brightly and went close to breaking the deadlock in the fourth minute when Demetriou's well struck free kick was palmed away by Chairboys keeper Scott Shearer. Stand-in skipper Tamika Mkandawire also went close on 18 minutes, but scuffed his close-range effort following a Luke Summerfield corner.

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Despite a slow start, the home side came into the game as the half progressed. Matthew Phillips was proving a constant nuisance down the Orient right hand side, crossing first for Kevin Betsy to force a good save from Jamie Jones on 21 minutes, and then again two minutes later for striker Matt Harrold to head over from close.

Indeed the half time whistle was a welcome sound for Williams, after Wanderers forced corner after corner as the O's failed to clear their lines.

The second half began with a flurry of end-to-end action, as first Jones saved brilliantly from Harrold's deflected header on 49 minutes, before an Orient breakaway two minutes later saw McGleish run on to a perfectly weighted Andros Townsend pass, only to have Shearer save courageously at his feet.

Much had been made of McGleish's return to Adams Park, and it seemed certain that the veteran would have the goal he so thoroughly desired when his strike partner Ryan Jarvis picked him out perfectly from the left on 61 minutes, only for the 35-year-old to flash his volley wide from close range.

With that glaring miss, it appeared his chance had passed, but minutes later the fairytale was complete as McGleish stood in front of the Orient fans.

Yet the O's job was not quite complete, as a frantic last 10 minutes saw a barrage of balls pumped into Jones' penalty area as Wycombe got desperate. First Harrold saw his header find the crossbar in the 83rd minute, before the former Southend man had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Jarnail Singh in stoppage time.

But, the O's hung on for a precious victory to lift them clear of the relegation zone, whilst McGleish was applauded by all sides of the ground as he left the field.

The veteran striker holds the club record for most league goals in a season at Wanderers with 26 in 2007/2008 and he netted 34 times in 75 league games for the Chairboys overall.

However, despite his big day, the 35-year-old was quick to talk down his return. "Scoring the winner doesn't add to the satisfaction of victory, I'm here to play for Orient now," he said.

"People will say it was written in the stars but, like I said, I'm an Orient player, Orient pay my wages and it's my job now," insisted the goalscorer.

"We've taken six points from nine now and if we can keep that up, we are obviously going in the right direction."

Meanwhile, his manager Geraint Williams was quick to sing his praises. "Scott was great today, he showed why I brought him to club. He's got non-stop effort and energy and he is scoring goals still," said the Welshman.

And when asked how much longer the veteran can keep his career going, Williams was optimistic about the front man's future.

"Who knows? It's all about desire and staying free of injuries at that age. We manage him well, we make sure he rests when he needs to do and works hard in the week at his fitness. "He's got the will and if he stays clear of injuries, who knows how long he can carry on playing?

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