Orient down Dons to clinch third
- Credit: Archant
League One: MK Dons 1 Leyton Orient 3
Kevin Lisbie’s first-half double helped down the Dons at stadiummk as Orient clinched third place in the final League One table and a play-off semi-final meeting with Peterborough.
Jamaican striker Lisbie headed home from Dean Cox’s cross and slotted home David Mooney’s pass to take his tally for the season to 18 and give Russell Slade’s men a comfortable cushion at the break.
And Mooney got in on the act in the second half with his 19th league goal of the campaign as O’s ended the regular season on a high.
Captain and player of the year Nathan Clarke and young player of the year Moses Odubajo were named in the starting line-up for the 46th time this season, while double award winner Elliot Omozusi (Players’ Player, Community Player of the Year) returned in place of Scott Cuthbert.
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And the visitors went close on seven minutes when a Cox corner was stabbed over by Mathieu Baudry.
But Jamie Jones had to produce a smart save at the other end to keep out Ryan Hall’s free-kick, which flew through a crowd of players on 12 minutes.
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O’s opened the scoring five minutes later, though, when Mooney found Cox on the left and his deep cross was headed home by Lisbie for his 17th goal of the campaign.
And they had claims for a penalty on 19 minutes when Odubajo went over in the box, but the appeals were waved away by referee Stephen Martin.
The dangerous Odubajo got past Dons captain Dean Lewington on the right moments later, but fired over the crossbar.
Then David Martin was forced into a save to deny Cox, who was released by Lisbie on 23 minutes, as Orient continued to push forward.
Jones saved well again to keep out Hall’s dipping effort just past the half-hour mark, but opposite number Martin was then forced off to be replaced by Charlie Burns, who saw Lisbie head over after more good work between Cox and Mooney.
Burns was beaten in first-half stoppage time, though, as Mooney slipped in Lisbie to tuck the ball home and claim his second goal of the afternoon and 18th of the term.
That left Orient in third place at the break, with Preston trailing at struggling Crewe.
And after a quiet start to the second half, Russell Slade’s men saw Baudry release Cox on 54 minutes, before Mooney had a shot well saved by Burns.
The respite was brief for the hosts as Mooney made it 3-0 soon after with his 19th league goal of the campaign, firing into the far top corner having linked up well with strike partner Lisbie.
And the Irish striker went close to no.20 just past the hour when his lob dropped just wide.
Lisbie made way for Chris Dagnall and John Lundstram was replaced by Lloyd James after firing just wide midway through the half.
But Dons hit back with 11 minutes left as Hall’s deflected shot cruelly wrong-footed Jones.
Mooney left the action to a standing ovation from the travelling O’s fans, in a crowd of 9.965, to be replaced by Shaun Batt for the closing stages.
And although Batt and Dagnall sent late chances wide, O’s could return to east London pleased with their day’s work and looking forward to visiting Peterborough next weekend.
MK Dons: Martin (Burns 33), Lewington, Flanagan, Gleeson, Smith (Rasulo 68), McLeod, Alli, Hall, Spence, Kay, Kennedy (Powell 57). Unused subs: Randall, Hickford, Loveridge, Summerfield.
Leyton Orient: Jones, Omozusi, Sawyer, Vincelot, Baudry, Cox, Lisbie (Dagnall 62), Mooney (Batt 80), Odubajo, Clarke, Lundstram (James 67). Unused subs: Larkins, Bartley, Simpson, Ness.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffs).