Leyton Orient's automatic promotion hopes over after Crawley Town defeat

Chris Dagnall grabbed the equaliser for Orient at Crawley: Rob Newell

Chris Dagnall grabbed the equaliser for Orient at Crawley: Rob Newell

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Leyton Orient's automatic promotion hopes were finally killed off after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Crawley Town this afternoon.

Crawley took the lead, against the run of play, through Gwion Edwards but Chris Dagnall deservedly brought Orient level before half-time with a close-range finish. 

The hosts improved after the break and were rewarded with a second goal when Andy Drury headed home the winner to end Orient's outside hopes of automatic promotion.

It means the East Londoners' miserable record against Crawley continued having lost all four matches against them.

The O's made two changes to the side which thrashed Gillingham last weekend. Kevin Lisbie was rested with Dagnall promoted to the attack while Lloyd James replaced John Lundstram.

Crawley had the first shot of the game but Mike Jones' low effort was straight at Orient keeper Jamie Jones.

The visitors' first attempt came through an unlikely source as Dagnall set up Elliot Omozusi but the defender blasted his strike over the bar.

Orient went close through Romain Vincelot but the midfielder's header, from James' corner, was too close to the keeper.

The O's created another opening when David Mooney laid the ball off to Dean Cox but he curled his shot past the far post.

Crawley grabbed the opener after 26 minutes against the run of play. The hosts broke away and Dannie Bulman played the ball into the area for a simple finish from close range by Edwards.

Orient very nearly replied immediately but top scorer Mooney flashed a shot just wide of the target. 

The O's had another opportunity through Dagnall but he could only head James' cross into the arms of Jones. 

The visitors earned a deserved equaliser five minutes before the break when Dagnall got a touch on Mathieu Baudry's header to make it 1-1.

Crawley created the first chance of the second half but Edwards blasted his shot over the bar. 

The hosts came close to regaining the lead through Edwards but his fierce strike was tipped over the bar by Jones.

Crawley kept the pressure on and Edwards' header forced Moses Odubajo to clear the ball off the line. 

Russell Slade made a double substitution midway through the half as he brought on Shaun Batt and Lundstram for Dagnall and James. 

The home side made it 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining when Drury headed in Jones' cross.

Mooney had the chance to equalise but his volley inside the area was saved by Jones.

Crawley nearly sealed the points on the break but Josh Simpson's low effort was held by the visiting keeper.

The O's made their final change with just over ten minutes remaining as Jamie Ness replaced Vincelot.

Orient could not find an equaliser, despite a late effort from Mooney which was blocked, and their defeat meant Brentford's promotion to the Championship was confirmed.

Crawley Town: Jones; Sadler, Walsh, McFadzean, Connolly; Simpson (Torres, 85), Drury, Bulman, M Jones; Tubbs (Proctor, 60), Edwards

Subs not used: Essam, Fallon, Monakana, Maddison, Dicker

Leyton Orient: Jones; Omozusi, Clarke, Baudry, Cuthbert; Cox, Vincelot (Ness, 79), James (Lundstram, 66), Odubajo; Mooney, Dagnall (Batt, 66)

Subs not used: Sawyer, Larkins, Lasimant, Simpson

Referee: Mick Russell 

Attendance: 4,387 (1,171)

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