Leyton Orient 2 MK Dons 1
Leyton Orient came from a goal down to beat MK Dons 2-1 at the Matchroom Stadium to keep their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League 1 intact.
The Dons took the lead in the 29th minute when Patrick Bamford netted his 11th goal in 14 matches, but the O’s showed great fight as they clawed their way back into proceedings when Moses Odubajo fired home the equaliser before the break.
The O’s, who had drawn their last two League matches, looked desperate to extend their unbeaten run for a little longer and they managed to do just that when Kevin Lisbie rolled home the winner in the 66th minute.
The Dons made three changes to the side which lost 3-2 to Gillingham a week earlier with Ian McLoughlin replacing the injured David Martin (calf) while Jon Otsemobor and Daniel Powell came in for Lee Hodson (international duty) and Danny Green following the completion of his loan.
Robinson’s men, coming into the game on the back of two away defeats in a week, had their toughest challenge of the season awaiting them as they aimed to bring to an end the O’s unbeaten start to the League season.
The hosts were lively from the offset with Kevin Lisbie keen to make a nuisance of himself for the Dons’ defence. In the early stages the O’s had a number of half-chances with Lisbie unable to beat the offside trap as he was played through and goalie Ian McLoughlin having to interfere to collect a dangerous cross into the box from David Mooney.
The Dons were on the back foot and had to soak up the pressure before having their first real sniff at goal after 15 minutes when Patrick Bamford’s snatched effort hit an Orient defender before Jamie Jones made a comfortable stop.
While the O’s had shaded the early phases there had been little in terms of chances at either end with both goalkeepers kept relatively quiet. Even when Dean Cox’s weaving run allowed him into a dangerous area it was the block of Dean Lewington which prevented the shot from reaching the target.
The match needed a spark to bring the Matchroom Stadium to life and it came in the 29th minute when McLoughlin’s ball found Chadwick in midfield who spotted the run of Bamford to his right. The on-loan Chelsea striker showed great pace and power as he made his way to the edge of the area and drilled his low shot across the face of the goal and into the bottom corner.
Mooney had a great opportunity to pull the scores level seven minutes later when the forward out-jumped his marker Tom Flanagan but could only divert the cross from the right wide of the left post.
In their current form it was always a question of when Orient would pull the scores level and it came as a sucker punch just four minutes before the break when the Mooney’s movement down the right caught the Dons in a spin and by the time Lisbie pulled the ball back for Odubajo the winger was in acres of space as he applied a clinical finish which flew beyond McLoughlin.
Having regained level terms the O’s tails were up with Cox sending a shot straight at McLoughlin and Mooney firing inches wide as half-time approached. The O’s were back attacking shortly after the break when a free-kick met Cox on the edge of the box and the midfielder’s low shot was diverted wide before Nathan Clarke sent a free-header from the resulting corner just over the bar.
Russell Slade’s side were the better side after the interval and had once again limited the Dons’ chances to break into the final third. Lisbie had been a thorn in the defence’s side throughout the match and when Mooney fed a great ball to his feet in the 66th minute the in-form striker, even under the pressure from Flanagan, kept his calm and passed the ball into the back of the net to give the O’s a deserved lead.
After falling behind the Robinson decided to roll the dice and introduce Izale McLeod to boost the threat up front alongside Bamford. The Dons striker could have had an immediate impact when Jon Otsemobor’s diagonal cross fell perfectly to McLeod; however, the Birmingham-born forward took it first-time and was denied by a superb block from Jones.
George Baldock, on for Carruthers in the 61st minute, provided some excitement for the Dons with a superb run down the right and when his run was brought to an end the loose ball popped up to McLeod who watched his thunderous strike from 18-yard rattled against the bar.
The Dons huffed and puffed in the late stages as they looked to sneak a late point from the encounter but returned to MK1 empty-handed.
Leyton Orient: Jones; Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, James, Lisbie (Batt73), Mooney, Odubajo, Clarke (c).
Subs not used: Larkins, Sawyer, Lee, Lasimant, Bartley, Stockley.
Goals: Odubajo 41, Lisbie 66
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): McLoughlin; Otsemobor (Smith 81), Flanagan, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Powell, Chadwick (McLeod 69), Carruthers (Baldock 61); Bamford.
Subs not used: Burns, Reeves, Rasulo, Banton
Goal: Bamford 29
Attendance: 6,359 (569 away)