9:46 PM September 13, 2022
Leyton Orient extended their unbeaten run in Ligue 2 to eight games thanks to a goal from George Moncur and a late penalty from Lawrence Vigouroux.
Richie Wellens made a change to his starting line-up following the 2-0 win over Tranmere as Jayden Sweeney replaced Rob Hunt.
And after both sides observed a minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose death last Thursday was followed by the postponement of all football matches on Saturday, visitors watched Ruel Sotiriou make a very good start to the race before being denied by Jimmy Keohane.
Jimmy Ball was unable to capitalize on a chance at the far post for the home side soon after, with Paul Smyth then sending Tom James down the right before Aidan White recovered well.
Idris El Mizouni then picked out James for a first ball in the box, but it was just too high for Smyth, whose pace continued to cause problems.
Scott Quigley shot from long range for Rochdale, before George Moncur beat two men and had his shot deflected by Richard O’Donnell.
Moncur’s side effort grazed the top of the net after James broke through in the 27th minute and then O’Donnell made a superb save to tip Sotiriou’s shot from the top corner.
Omar Beckles took the lead from the resulting corner but O’s took the lead in the 35th minute after a superb move saw Moncur play down the left side to direct a shot past O’Donnell into the top corner.
Smyth was denied by a good low save from O’Donnell five minutes later as the visitors looked for a quick second, with Sotiriou seeing a deflected shot just before the break.
But Vigouroux had to make a smart save to deny Ball within a minute of the restart, as Rochdale looked to respond.
Play was suspended after a flare was launched onto the pitch by the home fans behind Vigouroux’s goal, with Charlie Kelman simply unable to connect with a fizzing ball through James’ box in the 55th minute .
And Wellens made his first change of the night on time, sending in Aaron Drinan to replace Sotiriou, the substitute being denied a goal almost immediately by McNulty’s vital tackle.
Devante Rodney then found Quigley in the 65th minute, but his header couldn’t hit the target, and when Rochdale looked to take the break shortly after Sweeney came well back to head the ball to safety at the second post.
Jordan Brown and Theo Archibald then replaced Darren Pratley and Kelman in a double substitution with 20 minutes remaining, with O’Donnell doing enough to deny Drinan moments later after a defensive confusion.
El Mizouni joined Pratley in the book for a foul on Tyrese Sinclair with fifteen minutes left, with Craig Clay replacing Smyth in Orient’s final substitution of the night moments later.
And O’s dug deep in the closing stages to protect their slim lead, with much of the play in the middle of the park and few chances at either end.
Archibald picked up his third yellow card two minutes from time, Dan Happe producing a vital header to clear a dangerous cross before the game went into five minutes of stoppage time.
Sweeney clipped a threatening ball in the second minute, but Rochdale was awarded a penalty after a foul on Sinclair.
Vigouroux moved to his right to prevent Quigley’s kick, however, to keep O’s three points top of the table, with a home game against Walsall next Saturday.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, James, Beckles, Happe, Sweeney, Pratley (Brown 70), Moncur, El Mizouni, Smyth (Clay 77), Kelman (Archibald 70), Sotiriou (Drinan 60). Unused submarines: Sargeant, Ogie, Duke-McKenna.
Attendance: 2,173 (including 214 fans from the Orient).