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Leyton Orient beaten on their travels by Exeter City
Leyton Orient suffered a heavy defeat as quick-fire goals in the second period helped see Exeter City claim a 3-0 win.
It was the hosts who made the brighter start as Jake Taylor put them in front after just four minutes, applying the finish at the second attempt.
Syam Ben Youssef was desperately close to his first Orient goal when his header was blocked on the line while Taylor could have doubled his tally but was denied by the post.
A Liam Sercombe double in the second half put Exeter in control though as the O’s were condemned to defeat.
Russell Slade was forced to make two changes to his Orient side for the trip to Devon.
In midfield, Jimmy Smith missed out after he was forced off against Notts County with a knock to the head and was replaced by Marc Laird.
Ben Youssef was given a start in the back four as he took the place of Terrell Forbes who missed out with a groin problem.
Jamie Jones continued in goal after he made his long-awaited return on Friday with Paul Rachubka on the bench after the Leeds glovesman extended his loan stay until the end of the campaign.
Also on the bench were Calvin Andrew, George Porter, Solomon Taiwo and Jamie Smith who will be looking for his first minutes in an Orient shirt after joining last month.
Orient were in desperate need of the points to move them away from the relegation scrap but they made the worst possible start as the home side grabbed a fourth-minute lead.
Taylor managed to get the better of the defence although saw Jones deny him in a one-on-one situation but the danger was not cleared.
Alan Gow put the ball back into the area and Taylor made no mistake at the second time of asking, finding the corner of the net with a shot that trickled over the line via the inside of the post.
The Grecians continued to look dangerous going forward but the O’s came close to a leveller after ten minutes when Dean Cox’s low cross came close to finding the unmarked Adam Reed but the ball was just too far ahead of the Sunderland youngster.
It was a game of few chances for either side but midway through the half, the O’s looked to have stretched their hosts as Cox’s cross found Ben Youssef at the back to play in Lisbie but the striker’s shot was well blocked before threatening Artur Krysiak.
David Mooney earned Orient a corner which Ben Youssef headed wide before the Tunisian was again at the centre of the action.
A further corner from Cox saw the 22-year-old power the ball goalwards with his head, forcing Troy Archibald-Henville into a goalline black onto the crossbar.
City immediately countered and looked to have doubled their advantage only for Taylor to be denied by the foot of the post.
Paul Tisdale’s men did have the ball in the back of the net minutes later but Gow saw his effort chalked off for offside, although leaving the ball for Taylor might have been the better option, with his strike partner looking to have timed his run to perfection.
The first action of note in the second period saw the home side denied what looked a clear penalty when Taylor went through.
The goalscorer looked to have beaten Dean Leacock and cut in front of him with only Jones to beat but as the striker took a tumble, the official said no penalty.
Orient felt they should have had a penalty when Archibald-Henville tugged Reed back but it was adjudged to be outside the area.
Ryan Dickson’s low free kick was blocked though by a mass of defenders ahead of Ben Youssef missing the target from the rebound.
Mooney headed straight at the keeper minutes later before the home side took control of the contest.
Jones tipped a fierce long range effort from Gow over the bar but the Grecians netted from the set piece, with David Noble’s ball over not properly cleared as Sercombe drilled in on the far side.
And within five minutes, the O’s found themselves three goals down as Sercombe again applied the finish, latching onto James Dunne’s through ball to beat Jones again.
The goal seemed to kill the game off with neither side really threatening much until substitute Calvin Andrew went close following a swift move involving Ben Youssef and George Porter.
Sercombe was going in search of a hat-trick but he missed the target ahead of Andrew heading over from a Cox corner.
The two-goal man tested Jones with a low strike again as the game entered stoppage time but with the stopper able to gather, there were to be no more goals as the hosts claimed the points.
Exeter: Krysiak; Tully, Archibald-Henville, Baldwin, Jones; Dunne, Noble, Gow (McNish 80), Sercombe; Nardiello (Nichols 80), Taylor (Bauza 66).
Subs: Pidgeley, Frear.
Orient: Jones; Ben Youssef, Chorley, Leacock, Dickson; Mooney (Jamie Smith 85), Reed, Spring, Laird (Porter 63), Cox; Lisbie (Andrew 75).
Subs: Rachubka, Taiwo.
Attendance: 4,142 (288).