10:03 PM March 22, 2022
Aaron Drinan’s second-half brace helped Leyton Orient beat Harrogate to back-to-back League Two wins on Tuesday.
After beating Rochdale 3-1 to end a 16-game unbeaten streak on Saturday, O’s extended their unbeaten streak to six games in this rearranged game, which was postponed after heavy snowfall shortly before kickoff. sent on its original date.
New head coach Richie Wellens made two changes to the squad which started the weekend as Darren Pratley and Otis Khan came on to replace Paul Smyth and Ethan Coleman, who were named to the bench.
And a tempting cross from Drinan found Ruel Sotiriou in the fourth minute, but his header couldn’t trouble Mark Oxley in the home goal.
Lawrence Vigouroux saved a powerful strike from Lewis Richards at his near post moments later and then Sotiriou latched on to Drinan’s flick and tried to play into Theo Archibald, who was chased away by the home defence.
The O’s fullback recovered well as Ryan Fallowfield scored on goal and squared for Luke Armstrong, then Archibald latched onto Connor Wood’s cross and, after his header was blocked, hit the post with a follow-up attempt at 12 minutes.
Omar Beckles tossed a header into Oxley’s arms from Shad Ogie’s long throw-in, with the Harrogate keeper quickly out to deny Sotiriou after a fine dummy from Pratley in the 21st minute and then claiming Khan’s effort shortly after.
Mark Beck gave Town a good chance, who were forced into an early switch when Simon Power replaced Richards.
And O’s saw Hector Kyprianou and Sotiriou shoot over the crossbar from outside the area, before Archibald’s dangerous cross after a superb pass from Kyprianou found no one in front of goal in the 33rd minute.
The visitors kept pushing and Drinan’s through ball was inches away from sending Archibald on goal, but Alex Patterson had the last chance of a scoreless first half, which he sent wide.
The second half was just six minutes old when O’s broke the deadlock with a fantastic strike from Drinan, who latched on to Adam Thompson’s through ball and finished superbly to end his 15-game drought and win his 14th of the season.
And just like the London Buses, Drinan added his second of the night just six minutes later as he guided a set piece past Oxley to double the advantage.
The 23-year-old Irishman might have scored a 10-minute hat-trick but Drinan sent a header just over the bar and Sotiriou exploded 12 yards out.
O’s had a release at 70 minutes when Jack Diamond hit a post, as Harrogate enjoyed a brief spell at the top. But it was 3-0 just two minutes later as Pratley collected the ball well in midfield and it was played through to Sotiriou, who maintained his excellent form in front of goal by scoring his fifth in six games .
The 21-year-old made way for Smyth for the final quarter, with Power shaking Vigouroux’s crossbar shortly after, and Drinan limped off to be replaced by Harry Smith, before Smyth fired wide at the second post when it was found in space.
Matt Young replaced Archibald in the third change of the night in front of 206 delighted Orient fans, with Smyth playing Wood who had the ball taken away by Fallowfield.
And Smyth was on the wrong side of a bad foul from Nathan Sheron, who was booked, in the second of six minutes of stoppage time, before Smith closed in on a fourth Orient goal as he was hitting the post at a tight angle.
The win lifted the O’s to 17th in the table, 12 points clear of the relegation zone ahead of their home game with Barrow next weekend.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Wood, Thompson, Archibald (Young 82), Khan, Drinan (Smith 79), Pratley, Beckles, Sotiriou (Smyth 75), Ogie, Kyprianou. Unused submarines: Sargeant, Nouble, Coleman, Ray.