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Leyton Orient boss rues ‘shocking’ defending in Gillingham defeat

10:16 16 November 2014

Gills Cody McDonald scores the winner past O

Gills Cody McDonald scores the winner past O's keeper Adam Legzdins and celebrates. Pic: Simon O'Connor

Simon O"Connor/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way Braintree Essex

Leyton Orient manager Mauro Milanese admitted it was ‘shocking’ to concede all three goals in the manner they did as they lost out 3-2 at 10-man Gillingham yesterday.

Adam Legzdins saved a first half penalty before the O’s took the lead from a spot kick of their own in the second half as Gianvito Plasmati scored his first goal for the club.

But the visitors conceded twice from near identical free-kicks and Leon Legge was there on both occasions to profit.

Milanese’s side did level through Chris Dagnall late on after Michael Doughty had been sent off for two bookable offences, but lost out when Cody McDonald slotted home from a 97th minute corner to deny the O’s a point.

And while pleased with their performance for the most part, Milanese knows they can ill-afford to defend set pieces in the manner they did.

“I think we did everything we could on the pitch apart from defend the free-kicks. We need to defend better,” said Milanese.

“For me it’s shocking to concede from free-kicks in those positions. It’s a shame to lose a game from three situations like that.

“With 10 men behind the ball for the set pieces, it is something I couldn’t believe. I think the lads did okay but they did not defend well in the three chances they had.”

The O’s welcomed back Romain Vincelot in the starting line-up following his recent knee injury, while Andrea Dossena made his first start and Plasmati also featured from the off.

There was also a return for David Mooney on the bench, but Shane Lowry and Jay Simpson were both forced to hobble off through injury.

And Milanese admitted that created a problem, while also revealing Simpson hadn’t taken part in the last two training sessions because of injury.

“Lowry couldn’t finish the game as well as Jay Simpson, while Andrea Dossena played 90 minutes for the very first time for a long time, Vincelot as well,” added Milanese.

“Plasmati didn’t have the energy to finish the game as well. So we had a big problem but you can only make three changes.

“I knew that Plasmati cannot finish the game and Jay Simpson didn’t train for the last two times because of his injury.

“I knew from before that Simpson and Plasmati could not finish the game so it was obvious that Mooney and Dagnall could play a part.”

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