No Wembley return for O’s as Egan ensures Gillingham’s Trophy success
PUBLISHED: 16:57 06 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:59 06 December 2014
Simon O"Connor/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way Braintree Essex
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area semi-final: Gillingham 1 Leyton Orient 0
John Egan’s 79th minute header saw Leyton Orient’s chance of a Wembley return vanish as they bowed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area semi-final at League One rivals Gillingham.
There was little between the two sides on the day, but Egan got on the end of Michael Doughty’s delivery to send the Kent side through to face either Bristol City or Coventry City in the area final.
The game took a little while to get going, but the first real chance fell to the hosts when Leon Legge – the scorer of two goals in the 3-2 league win last month – headed over Jake Hessenthaler’s corner.
Both sides began to grow into the game and a good ball in from Sawyer found the head of David Mooney but his header was easily held by Stuart Nelson in the Gillingham goal.
Shane Lowry then saw a deflected free-kick gathered by the home goalkeeper, before a long ball over the top up the other end allowed Brennan Dickenson some space to run into.
But rather than take a first-time shot, his pull back was well cleared by Josh Wright.
Gianvito Plasmati tried his luck with an ambitious 35 yard effort, but it was easy for Nelson to save as the game began to open up.
Lowry took aim from another free-kick in a similar position to his earlier effort however this time it dipped just over the bar.
The O’s were undone by two set pieces in the league game, and almost conceded from another as the ball into the box was headed on by Legge for an unmarked Norris, but a fine last-ditch intervention saw Lowry block the effort behind for a corner.
Orient goalkeeper Adam Legzdins was fortunate to not give away a penalty when his clearance hit Dickenson and he clearly tugged the striker back.
But O’s ended the half on top as a teasing inswinging free-kick on the left from McAnuff found the head of Plasmati, however, it was met by a fine save from Nelson.
Legzdins again didn’t look comfortable at the start of the second half as he failed to gather the ball, but again Dickenson dithered on the ball and the chance went begging.
The second period was equally slow to get going, but Luke Norris almost volleyed the hosts into a 58th minute lead from a fine crossfield ball from John Egan, though the effort just fizzed wide of the target.
It was O’s to go close next as an impressive Sawyer fizzed the ball into the back post but Bradley Pritchard prodded the effort agonisingly wide from close range, before Scott Cuthbert headed wide from an O’s corner.
Cody McDonald saw a shot agonisingly deflected behind for a corner, and from that set piece the host took the lead.
It was Michael Doughty’s delivery and defender John Egan was on the end of it in the box to head home his third goal in two games for the Gills.
The O’s still ploughed forward looking for a late equaliser and somehow Pritchard couldn’t get on the end of substitute Shaun Batt’s deflected ball in and the hosts saw out four minutes of added time to dump Orient out of the competition.
Gillingham: Nelson, Chicksen, Egan, Legge, Ehmer, Dickenson, Doughty, Dack, Loft (McGlashan 75), Norris (McDonald 75), Hessenthaler.
Unused substitutes:, Morris, Pritchard, Hoyte
Leyton Orient: Legzdins, Omozusi, Lowry, Cuthbert, Sawyer, McAnuff (Cox 80), Vincelot, Wright, Pritchard (Kashket 88), Mooney, Plasmati (Batt 75)
Unused substitutes: Baudry, Grainger.
Attendance: 3,103 (620 Leyton Orient fans)