Leyton Orient were well beaten in their opening League One fixture at Prenton Park as Tranmere were victorious by three goals to one. Just beyond the half hour mark, Zoumana Bakayogo broke the deadlock after a Tranmere counter attack. A second half brace from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro ensured opening day defeat for the O’s. Late in the game, Orient were awarded a penalty after Jimmy Smith was brought down and Michael Symes converted from the spot, giving the O’s a consolation goal.
Jamie Jones was restored to the starting line-up after recovering from injury and it wasn’t long before he was tested. Four minutes in Tranmere right back Danny Holmes unleashed a shot from long range forcing Jones to make a save. That early attempt did not spark Russell Slade’s team into life as they struggled to threaten from start to finish. As in mid-week, Orient were caught out by a counter-attack after a long throw routine came to nothing. Jake Cassidy played in Bakayogo and the Rovers left back finished well, to put the home side a goal up with little more than fifteen minutes left in the half. David Mooney had an opportunity to level the score just before the break, but the Irishman’s attempt on goal was saved by Owain fon Williams.
Orient were dealt a severe blow shortly after the restart as Scott Cuthbert had to be substituted through injury. Tranmere then piled on the misery for Orient by doubling their lead on the hour. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s found the top right-hand corner with a superb strike from 25 yards out . The Tramere striker was celebrating again less than ten minutes later. James Wallace crossed the ball into the Orient box and Akpa Akpro headed home at the far post. The O’s tried in vain to find a way back, Mathieu Baudry’s long range effort narrowly missed the target and substitute Ryan Brunt headed wide soon after. Orient did manage a consolation goal late on as Symes scored from the penalty spot, but by then the match was over as a contest.
Orient’s defending was poor and the injury to Scott Cuthbert will weaken the backline significantly, as the Scotsman was easily the best player in the squad last season and he seemed to be forming a solid partnership with Nathan Clarke. The lack of attacking threat; particularly after conceding; was also concerning. However ,Orient did look better after bringing Symes and Brunt on , therefore one of them (preferably Symes) should start ahead of Mooney on Tuesday against Stevenage.
Slade on match v Tranmere
It certainly wasn’t the start we were looking for. We wanted to get off to a good start with a win or at least taking something back down the motorway.
“It wasn’t the case and in the end I don’t think we deserved to take anything down the motorway.
“It was a game of taking chances really. I thought Tranmere took theirs and we didn’t. Strangely enough Owain Fon Williams made the save of the game before half-time and that would have been a timely equaliser for us.
“We couldn’t back up the really good performance on Tuesday.
“There were too many average or below-average performances from my players today.
“That second goal hurt because I felt we were on top and that second goal went against the run of play.
“The attitude was there but we need to play with more urgency.”