Orient extend winning run to eight with gutsy Brentford win (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Leyton Orient extend lead at the top of League One with eighth victory on the bounce after 2-0 win over Brentford
Leyton Orient’s winning run will have to come to an end at some point but not just yet.
Two second half goals from David Mooney and Shaun Batt mean the O’s best start for 103 years is now extended to eight victories on the bounce after the latest triumph – a 2-0 away win against Brentford.
Russell Slade’s side are five points clear at the top of League One and closing in on their own club record of 10 wins in a row, recorded in the season of 1955/56.
Nothing could dampen the spirits of the O’s away fans at Griffin Park and rightly so, but Orient were second best for large parts of this contest against an assertive Brentford side predicted to be among the division’s frontrunners at the start of the season.
All the more impressive then that Slade’s team ended up comfortable winners.
Orient were resilient under pressure and ruthless when the game presented itself to them in the second half. It was a performance of a team at the top of the table and confident of staying there.
The O's, unchanged for the sixth match running, started positively and had the better of the opening five minutes as Kevin Lisbie took the first shot of the game but his dipping half volley looped well wide.
Brentford responded strongly however and carved out the first real chance of the match as a Lloyd James handball gave the hosts a dangerous free-kick close to the penalty area but the whipped cross in was headed wide by Harlee Dean from close range.
Three minutes later, the Bees came close again and again it was Dean involved as the centre back was put through in the box but Nathan Clarke leant his weight on the Brentford man and as the home fans protested, referee James Linington waved away the appeals.
Orient looked threatening with the ball in the final third and should have taken the lead when Lisbie played in Moses Odubajo whose dinked cross to the back post found Mooney but the in-form Orient forward could only head over.
The opening 20 minutes was played at a furious pace with both teams playing an open, attacking game.
Orient were handed another opportunity just before the half hour mark as Clarke’s long throw into the area bypassed the Bees defence and as Martin Taylor cleared off the line, the ball fell to Mooney who blazed over from just inside the box.
While the chances were flowing at both ends, the finishing continued to lack precision as Dean blasted high when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area after a Brentford corner.
As the match settled down towards the end of the first half, it was the hosts who finished the stronger. Clayton Donaldson’s willing runs in behind forced the Orient defence deeper and the Bees increasingly pushed into the vacant space in midfield.
Just before half time Orient’s fears were proven justified as Donaldson twice got in behind the O’s defence. On the first occasion Clarke executed a perfectly time tackle to clear away but on the second, it was Donaldson who failed to control and he toe poked the ball harmlessly wide.
The second period began as frantically as the first. Donaldson unleashed a shot on the turn from long range but the ball whistled wide of Jamie Jones’ post.
Brentford were in the ascendancy and, led by the dynamic Donaldson, began to exert pressure on the O’s defence. Only another brilliant last-ditch tackle from Clarke denied Tony Craig at the back post who looked certain to finish from close range before the hour mark.
But just as Brentford looked to be gaining a foothold on the contest, Orient found a breakthrough. Mooney did superbly to wriggle his way around Shaleum Logan and as the pair tussled, Logan brought the Orient man down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Mooney dusted himself down and drove the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner for his eighth goal of the season.
As the away fans celebrated, Odubajo nearly doubled the O’s lead almost immediately after but his fired shot at goal was tipped over the crossbar.
Discouraged by the goal, Brentford struggled to regain the same rhythm as they had done earlier in the half and with six minutes to play Orient put the game to bed.
Substitute Shaun Batt ran on to Odubajo’s ball through and as the striker bore down on goal, he drove the ball into the far corner of the net to double Orient’s advantage.
Brentford continued to probe in the latter stages but the home team’s ambition to end their London rivals’ brilliant start to the season had long extinguished and Orient saw out their most impressive victory of the season so far.
The O's host Walsall on Saturday.
Brentford: Richard Lee, Tony Craig, Harlee Dean, Martin Taylor, Shaleum Logan, Adam Forshaw, Alan McCormack (Dallas, 74), Toumani Diagouraga, Martin Fillo (Teixeira 68), Will Grigg (Trotta, 74), Clayton Donaldson
Subs: Liam O’Brien, Kevin O’Connor, Farid El Alagui, Stuart Dallas, Jake Reeves, Joao Teixeira, Marcello Trotta
Leyton Orient: Jamie Jones, Elliot Omozusi, Mathieu Baudry, Nathan Clarke, Scott Cuthbert, Dean Cox, Lloyd James, Roman Vincelot, Moses Odubajo, David Mooney (Bartley, 89), Kevin Lisbie (Batt, 81)
Subs: Jake Larkins, Gary Sawyer, Shaun Batt, Yohann Lasimant, Johnny Gorman, Marvyn Bartley, Jayden Stockley
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 6,439 (893 away)