Shocking Orient can’t Oldham out!
Leyton Orient 1 Oldham Athletic 2 ORIENT S excellent start to the season came to a grinding halt on Saturday as they gift-wrapped Oldham the League One points with some uncharacteristic defensive mistakes, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Oldham s first goal on 11
Leyton Orient 1
Oldham Athletic 2
ORIENT'S excellent start to the season came to a grinding halt on Saturday as they gift-wrapped Oldham the League One points with some uncharacteristic defensive mistakes, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
Oldham's first goal on 11 minutes was a defensive horror show.
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Tamika Mkandawire, normally so solid, gave possession away following a poor touch, allowing Pawel Abbott a run on goal.
The striker's initial shot cannoned off Ben Chorley, but fell invitingly back to the Oldham man, who fired in another effort from 20 yards.
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O's keeper Jamie Jones dived to his right, but tried to block the ball with his left hand, and could only parry it and watch it bounce over the line and into the net.
The second goal, just before the hour, was equally as sloppy. Sean Thornton won possession from Chris Taylor on the right, but then, inexplicably, left the ball for Stephen Purches.
The O's skipper was caught unawares and Andy Holdsworth took advantage as he burst on to the ball and powered into the area.
Thornton tried to atone for his error, but as he slid in with a desperate tackle, the midfielder also caught Holdsworth and referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot.
Abbott bagged his second of the game as Jones dived to his left and the ball went the other way into the top corner. In between Oldham's goals, O's levelled through Ryan Jarvis, when he surged into the six-yard box and fired home JJ Melligan's cross as Oldham skipper Sean Gregan hesitated.
After the Latics' second, O's rarely looked capable of finding a way back into a scrappy contest.
Oldham, from the start, had been happy to defend in numbers and their abrasive style resulted in a robust, stop-start clash, where flowing football was at a premium, as O's, normally so comfortable on the ball, struggled to thread more than three or four passes together all game.
It was hard to find too many plus points from such a wretched performance.
O's boss Geraint Williams would have been able to draw comfort from the fact that Jarvis bagged his first league goal since April 2008, as his renaissance continued.
While JJ Melligan, another player on the periphery last term, again did well down the right.
He provided an early cross to set up Mkandawire for a header, but Dean Brill made a smart stop. Then he fired in a shot just wide after Oldham went ahead, before he set up the 31st-minute leveller.
In a game of few chances Thornton saw two long-range free-kicks saved by Brill and Scott McGleish tried a spectacular overhead kick during the first half.
After the break, Oldham had the cleaner chances and Hazell and Abbott should have scored before Oldham bagged their second.
To complete Orient's misery, Mkandawire had a game he will want to forget. The only consolation was that any watching scouts may be less keen to try and lure the key defender away before the transfer window!
The O's also picked up three bookings and there have been nine in the first three games. With such a wafer thin squad, suspensions is something the O's must avoid.