Jason’s winner eases relegation worries

Leyton Orient 2 Oldham Athletic 1 JASON DEMETRIOU S stunning late winner helped ease Orient s relegation worries, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Demetriou struck six minutes from time to complete a perfect second-half comeback for the O s. The victory hauled Orie

Leyton Orient 2 Oldham Athletic 1

JASON DEMETRIOU'S stunning late winner helped ease Orient's relegation worries, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Demetriou struck six minutes from time to complete a perfect second-half comeback for the O's.

The victory hauled Orient to within seven points of what most consider to be the 52-point safety-mark, and gave Geraint Williams' side an excellent chance of staying up.

Orient have won four of their last five, and seven points from their final seven matches, should be a target well within Orient's grasp.

However, for the first 45 minutes, another win looked highly unlikely.

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Oldham, under new boss Joe Royle, had dominated the first half and fully deserved their interval lead as they looked to rekindle their play-off push.

Home goalkeeper Jamie Jones fired a clearance against Danny Whitaker and was relieved to see the ball bounce away for a goalkick.

Then Lewis Alessandra was unlucky with an audacious chip from distance, that just cleared the bar.

O's did not manage a single effort on target in the first half, the nearest they came was when Scott McGleish, starved of quality service, almost got on the end of a through-ball, but was beaten to it by visiting keeper Shane Supple.

Jones then parried away an effort from Sean Gregan following a free-kick from Whitaker.

The alarm bells had been ringing, so it came as no surprise when Whitaker burst through from midfield and had both the time and space he needed before unleashing a powerful drive from 25 yards past Jones' despairing dive.

When Paul Terry shot wide on the stroke of half time, it was Orient's first genuine effort.

It was the midfielder's last piece of meaningful action, as he was replaced at the interval by Dean Morgan, as the home side reshuffled.

The substitute played down the left, with Demetriou swapping flanks and Jimmy Smith moving into the centre.

The switch had an immediate effect as twice Morgan went close in the first six minutes of the second half and posed more menace down the left.

Smith looked more at home in the middle of the park and suddenly Orient had a spring in their step.

O's, who had a penalty claim turned down in the first half when Smith was brought down, were awarded a spot-kick on 59 minutes and it was Morgan who was sent tumbling.

The on-loan Luton man was in full flight as he raced into the box and crashed into Reuben Hazell.

Referee Iain Williamson pointed to the spot, although Hazell, in his defence, could not have got out of the way. It was a decision that angered Latics boss Royle.

"I don't know what the referee was thinking. Their player just ran into Reuben Hazell. Does he turn himself invisible?"

But Oldham's protests were waved away and McGleish stepped up and made no mistake from the spot as he bagged his fifth goal since joining on loan, as Supple dived to his left and the ball went in the opposite corner.

Royle's anger was compounded when Charlie Daniels looked to have clipped Chris Taylor, but Williamson waved away Oldham's penalty appeals.

"Does anyone think that wasn't a penalty?" inquired a fuming Royle afterwards.

O's pushed for a winner and Daniels saw a shot parried by Supple and McGleish knocked the rebound over.

It looked as if Oldham would hang on to a point though until six minutes from time.

Daniels knocked a ball in from the right and when it was headed clear by Stefan Stam, it fell to Demetriou 20 yards out. He sent a shot crashing in via the upright.

Orient's battling escape bid continues.

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