Leyton Orient continued their goalscoring form as they defeated National League side Woking by four goals to nil, with all of the goals coming in the first 45 minutes. Ollie Palmer scored against his old side to give the O’s an early lead and Scott Kashket took his tally to two goals in his last two games as he found the net in-between a Jay Simpson brace.
The O’s rested a few players for the trip to the Kingfield Stadium. Dean Cox, Mathieu Baudry, Gary Woods and Connor Essam were not involved, while Frazer Shaw was an unused substitute. New arrivals Alan Dunne and Alex Ciska were in the starting line-up and Ian Hendon took the opportunity to look at four trialists. Goalkeepr Deniz Mehmet was on the bench again along with ex-Blackburn defender Yann Songo’o . Former Motherwell and Tottenham left-back Zaine Francis Angol and Jack Parkinson formerly at Woking started in the Orient defence.
Woking’s line-up included former Orient youth graduate Brian Saah.
The O’s managed to take an early lead. Blair Turgott’s low cross found Ollie Palmer and the ex-Woking striker saw his shot take a deflection to beat Jake Cole.
Jay Simpson then came close to doubling Orient’s lead. The former Arsenal striker produced a neat turn before attempting a shot from long-range that unfortunately just dipped over the hosts’ crossbar. At the other end John Goddard went close for Woking as his attempt went just inches wide of Alex Cisak’s post.
Fifteen minutes in, Orient doubled their lead. Palmer knocked the ball down to Kashket, who helped the ball over the on-rushing Woking defender. Another Cards centre-back missed his opportunity to clear the ball and Jay Simpson pounced, coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of Woking’s net.
Soon after, the O’s found themselves 3-0 up. Turgott delivered another dangerous low ball across the six yard box, which was helped to the far post by Ismail Yakubu, where Scott Kashket was waiting to apply a simple finish.
After conceding a third Woking showed some signs of life. First the Cards had the ball in the O’s net from a Keiran Murtagh free-kick, however Yakubu was judged to have impeded Cisak and a free-kick was given to the visitors. Then Scott Rendell had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit but he headed wide.
The O’s made it 4-0 right before the break. Clohessy slipped the ball to Simpson, who unleashed a powerful strike from a tight angle to beat Cole.
Substitutions at the interval saw trialist Yann Songo’o come on along with Sam Ling and Bradley Pritchard.
The second half lacked the intensity and action of the first half as both sides made changes and Orient’s eleven became more inexperienced.
Woking enjoyed more possession and the O’s looked less assured defensively, however the host’s failed to get many attempts on target.
Orient continued too look lively on the break but they lacked the cutting edge that they had in the first half. The closest Ian Hendon’s side came to extending their lead was when Lloyd James fired a volley just wide.
At the other end Cisak failed to hold Scott Rendell’s header but the former Burnley man managed to claim the ball on his second attempt.
Shortly after, Keiran Murtagh was then put through on goal, but substitute goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet rushed out to smother the danger.
Orient youngsters Freddy Moncur, Sandro Semedo and Montel Agyemang added a fresh injection of pace but that did not yeild any more clear-cut chances for the O’s.
Godfrey Poku and Giuseppe Sole both saw their shots narrowly miss the target and the O’s maintained a clean sheet for the second pre-season friendly in a row.
Alex Cisak: Had very little to do. Looked very comfortable, only blemish was when he spilled a header in the second half.
Sean Clohessy: Less dynamic going forward. Delivered fewer crosses. Solid defensively.
Alan Dunne: Clearly a leader, he organised the defence and took control. Fairly comfortable on the ball, he attempted some long passes from the back. Didn’t look comfortable against pace but he hasn’t had a proper pre-season or played many minutes.
Jack Parkinson: He was very vocal. Won plenty in the air. The most impressive trialist on the night, worth another look.
Zaine Francis-Angol: Very quick, decent dribbling, keen to get forward. Seemed to lack defensive discipline and positioning.
Lloyd James: Produced a few good through balls. Seems to be developing a partnership with Moore.
Sammy Moore: Worked well with James. Broke up play well and showed a wider range of passing.
Blair Turgott: Orient’s main creative force. Gave the Woking defence problems with his pace and direct running. Two assists from low crosses.
Scott Kashket: Keen to get involved. Used his speed and quick feet effectively. Tracked back well. Got another goal and played a part in Orient’s third goal. Could play some part this season.
Ollie Palmer: Seemed to give away a number of free-kicks. Worked hard for the team. Generally more involved and got on the scoresheet and managed a few key flick-ons in the build up to goals.
Jay Simpson: Like Kashket and Turgott, his pace on the break was effective. Two very nice finishes. Filled in for Kashket on the left when needed.
Deniz Mehmet (GK) (on after 69′): He didn’t have many saves to make. Rushed out decisively on one occasion to remove the danger.
Sam Ling (on at half-time): Impressive performance. One vital intervention to prevent a simple chance. Solid defensively.
Yann Songo’o (on at half-time): He didn’t make a big impression. Used his athleticism to win a number of headers.
Bradley Pritchard (on at half-time): Took a leadership role in a second-half side containing youngsters and trialists. Held his position in front of the defence, generally neat and tidy in possession.
Freddy Moncur (on after 69′): Played behind the striker. Linked up well with Semedo.
Sandro Semedo (on after 69′): Showed his dribbling skills but also competed physically and held off challenges. Produced a couple of good crosses.
Montel Agyemang (on after 76′): He didn’t have much time to make an impact but he added energy to central midfield.
Tactics and Playing Style
Ian Hendon reverted to the 4-4-2 that the O’s played during the first half against Braintree.
Once again the 4-4-2 was not a rigid shape. Kashket made lot’s of runs in-field from the left wing to link up with Palmer and Simpson which was similar Dean Cox’s propensity to roam from the wing. Kashket also did well to track back and help out Zaine Francis-Angol, however when he was not in a position to offer defensive cover, Jay Simpson showed good awareness to fill-in on the left wing.
Orient effectively exploited Woking’s 3-5-2 formation. Kashket’s in-field movements meant that Woking’s back three were often occupied by Orient’s attacking trio, allowing Blair Turgott space to make attacking runs on the right wing as the Cards were left outnumbered at the back. The other key aspect to Orient’s success in the first half was the pace of their attacks. Orient would often draw Woking’s wing backs out before exploiting the space they had left, which meant the Cards’ wide defenders could not get back into good positions quickly enough.
The O’s played a less direct style than they did at Braintree. Like McCallum’s role in Orient’s first friendly, Ollie Palmer was often the focus of the visitor’s attacking play, but the O’s mostly played the ball into the striker’s feet. Generally, Hendon’s side continued to try and play a passing game, building out from the back using the likes of James, Moore, Dunne and Clohessy in a similar fashion as the Colchester game. However, there were occasions when defenders looked to play the long ball to Palmer and his flick-ons were effective.
Unlike previous pre-season games there was far less emphasis on crossing. Clohessy did not overlap as often, leaving Blair Turgott to provide the main creative outlet on the right, and he was very effective. Turgott used his pace and trickery to to break forward on the flank and deliver a few low crosses (which yielded two goals) or make passes in-field for Palmer, Simpson and Kashket to work with.
Swift attacks and neat exchanges in the final third were more common than high deliveries into the box.
Orient’s success in front of goal in the first 45 minutes meant they were in a comfortable position and along with the number of changes and the introduction of young players and trialists the game petered out in the second half.
Woking had more of the ball in the second half and they tested Orient’s unfamiliar defence. However, many of their attempts were off target.
Orient’s shape morphed into more of a 4-2-3-1 in the following the substitutions. Simpson dropped deeper to play behind Kashket. When Agyemang replaced Kashket, Simpson moved forward allowing Moncur to play the attacking midfield role.
Though Woking did not play well and they could have been more solid defensively in the first-half, Orient rested a few first-team players and still managed a comfortable win. All three goalscorers’ confidence will have been boosted by the goals and a youthful Orient team in the second half managed to see the game out with their clean sheet intact.
What did you make of Orient’s performance against Woking? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.