MATCH REPORT: Leyton Orient 1-3 Colchester United – League Two

MATCH REPORT: Leyton Orient 1-3 Colchester United – League Two

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Leyton Orient lost their final home game of the season in bizarre circumstances. Colchester United were 1-3 up going into the latter stages of the game, but with five minutes to go, Orient fans stormed the pitch. Players and officials headed down the tunnel and the home fans’ protest lasted more than a hour-and-a-half.

The O’s fans’ anti-Becchetti and anti-EFL protest showed no sign of dispersing despite Omer Riza’s request for supporters to leave the pitch and allow the match to be finished. It was eventually announced that the match was cancelled, however, officials and players returned to the pitch after all fans had left and the match was completed behind closed doors. The scoreline did not change, as Orient kept the ball in the own half and played out the remaining minutes of the game.

 

Omer Riza made three changes to the side that lost against Crewe a week earlier. Teddy Mezague, Henry Ochieng and Victor Adeboyejo made way for Jens Janse, Callum Kennedy and Paul McCallum.

The O’s lined-up in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Kennedy and Janse as wing-backs, Sandro Semedo in central midfield and Steven Alzate and Tristan Abrahams either side of  McCallum.

Colchester boss John McGreal implemented a similar shape. The U’s lined-up in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

 

Orient vs Colchester - Football tactics and formations

 

The U’s had the better of the early stages of the game. Aron Pollock did well to block Tom Eastman’s shot and George Elokobi tested Sam Sargeant with a header.

Tristan Abrahams was the first to threaten Sam Walker’s goal but it came to nothing. Colchester’s Richard Brindley responded with a free-kick that dipped just over the Orient crossbar.

The visitors managed to break the deadlock in the 26th minute. Eastman whipped a cross in from the right flank and Tarique Fosu beat Jens Janse to the ball at the far post and his header found the net to make it 0-1.

Neither side was managing to create much of note. Abrahams curled a shot wide of the mark as the O’s looked for a leveller and at the other end Sean Murray’s swerving strike has Sargeant at full stretch, but the ball ended up going harmlessly wide.

There was a short stoppage in play after the Colchester United fans threw a smoke flare on to the pitch, which would become a theme of the afternoon/evening.

Orient ended the half with a good chance. Callum Kennedy produced a good cross from the left and Paul lMcCallum met the delivery, however, Walker was able to make the save.

 

Seven minutes into the second-half, Sandro Semedo put the O’s back on level terms in spectacular style. The Portuguese youngster, who had been called up to a Portugal national Under-21 training camp earlier in the week, burst into space before unleashing a powerful strike the dipped and swerved into the Colchester net Colchester restored their lead,

Colchester restored their lead with just over ten minutes left, as the U’s capitalised on a defensive error. Jens Janse’s backpass was woefully under hit and Tarique Fosu intercepted the ball. The Reading loanee rounded Sam Sargeant and squared the ball to Chris Porter who tapped in his sixteenth goal of the season.

 

 

Two minutes later, the U’s extended their advantage. Macauley Bonne raced in behind the Orient defence, held off Tom Parkes and fired a low shot on the turn into the far corner of the O’s goal.

As the match entered the last five minutes, a red smoke flare was thrown on the pitch by an Orient fan in the south stand and that sparked a pitch invasion from a few hundred home fans.

Players and officials made their way down the tunnel. Fans on the pitch chanted ‘Becchetti Out’ and anti-EFL songs and displayed banners and the protests were peaceful in nature. They also were joined in those songs by the Colchester fans in East Stand.

 

 

Stewards and police were not able to remove supporters from the pitch and requests over the tannoy were also ignored. Omer Riza even tried to get fans to leave the pitch but they remained.

The protests had lasted for over an-hour-and-a-half but eventually, it was announced that the match had been cancelled.

 

 

Supporters in the stands and on the pitch left the ground but almost an hour later, players and match officials returned to the pitch to play the final minutes of the game in an empty stadium.

The EFL claim that their deception was to protect that integrity of the competition. The last five minutes of the match involved the Orient players passing the ball among themselves and the Colchester players did not try to win the ball.

The match ended in a 1-3 defeat for the O’s as their miserable league campaign at Brisbane Road ended in bizarre circumstances.

 

 

 

 

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