Dean Cox fires Leyton Orient to FA Cup win over Walsall

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Dean Cox netted for the O's against Walsall: Simon O'Connor Dean Cox netted for the O's against Walsall: Simon O'Connor

Leyton Orient edged into the third round of the FA Cup after a scrappy 1-0 home win over Walsall this afternoon.

Orient did not really get going in the first half but grabbed the lead in the 41st minute when Dean Cox fired home.

The hosts had several scares, notably when the lively Craig Westcarr struck the post, but Orient managed to hold on to book their place in tomorrow's draw. 

The O's made two changes to the side following the draw against Sheffield United last weekend. Scott Cuthbert was suffering from the virus which kept manager Russell Slade away from the touchline while captain Nathan Clarke picked up a groin strain. Gary Sawyer and Yohann Lasimant came into the team.

The visitors created the first opening of the match when Westcarr's strike forced Jamie Jones to tip the ball over the bar. 

It was a largely uneventful first quarter of the game but the O's finally created a chance when Shaun Batt teed up David Mooney but the striker blasted his effort over the goal.

Westcarr was looking dangerous for Walsall and the striker went close when his shot curled just past Jones' post.

The Saddlers were enjoying the better of the half and had another effort on goal but Nicky Featherstone's strike was straight at the O's keeper. 

Orient grabbed the opening goal, against the run of play, just before the break when Mooney found Cox and the winger struck his shot into the top corner of the net. 

Slade was caught celebrating the goal from the balcony of his flat overlooking the pitch.

The O's had a chance at the start of the second half but Lasimant drilled his effort wide of the post.

Walsall went close after Westcarr set up Ashley Hemmings but his flicked shot was saved by Jones.

Orient made their first change when goalscorer Cox was replaced by Robbie Simpson. 

The hosts had a real scare when Westcarr's free-kick struck Jones' post with the keeper well beaten. 

Batt launched an attack for the League One leaders but his strike lacked power and drifted past the far post. 

The O's made their second change when Johnny Gorman was introduced in place of Frenchman Lasimant. 

Midfielder Harry Lee, who has recently been on loan at Farnborough, was also brought on late in the match for Batt.

Gorman had a chance to seal the win late on but his shot hit the side netting. 

There was a setback for the home side in the dying minutes when Mooney was sent off for a straight red card after kicking out at an opponent.  

There was four minutes of injury time for the Saddlers to force a replay but the O's held on to secure a hard-earned FA Cup victory. 

Leyton Orient: Jones; Sawyer, Baudry, Omozusi, Odubajo; Cox (Simpson, 60), Vincelot, James, Lasimant (Gorman, 75); Batt (Lee, 85), Mooney

Subs not used: Larkins, Finney, Ling

Walsall: O'Donnell; Purkiss, Taylor, Featherstone (Sawyers, 62), Downing; Butler, Mantom, A Chambers, Lalkovic (Baxendale, 71); Hemmings (Hewitt, 82), Westcarr

Subs not used: Lewis, Benning, Chambers, Gray

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 2,604

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