Reeves breaks Orient hearts as O’s miss out on Wembley
- Credit: Archant
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final second leg: Southend United 2 Leyton Orient 2 (Leyton Orient lost 3-2 on aggregate)
Ben Reeves’ last minute strike for Southend saw Leyton Orient miss out on a trip to Wembley as penalties looked destined to settle their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area final.
Shaun Batt gave the O’s an eighth minute lead on the night but Barry Corr shifted the tie back in Southend’s favour.
However, David Mooney looked like sending the tie to penalties when he headed home but Russell Slade’s side lost late on again for the second game in succession and the opportunity to go to Wembley when Reeves converted from Kevan Hurst’s cross.
Slade made two changes to the side which lost 2-1 at Hartlepool with the injured Gary Sawyer and cup tied Charlie MacDonald replaced by Leon McSweeney and Dean Cox.
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In a blistering start from the O’s, Cox delivered in a free-kick after four minutes which caused a goalmouth scramble and Lloyd James’ shot was saved by Paul Smith.
But they didn’t heed that warning and four minutes later Orient had the perfect start.
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A fine run from Moses Odubajo saw him find Cox who whipped it in and Shaun Batt opened his O’s account at the near post to level the scores on aggregate.
It was almost two on the 10 minute mark when David Mooney drifted inside but his curling effort went just wide.
Cox’s free-kick was met by Mooney later in the half however his header just landed on the roof of the net as Southend struggled.
Their first chance came after half an hour when Britt Assombalonga flicked on for Reeves but his shot was saved by Jamie Jones.
In the second period, Cox and Batt shared a one-two with the former going down in the box under the challenge from Matt Lund, but referee Andy Woolmer waved play on.
Southend were back in front on aggregate when Kevan Hurst’s ball in was headed on by Assombalonga and first half substitute Corr volleyed in.
The tide had definitely turned and Assombalonga headed straight at Jones as Southend began to boss the tie.
However, with 18 minutes left Orient retook the lead on the night and Mooney headed home McSweeney’s cross.
The visitors were now in the ascendancy and with 81 minutes on the clock Cox’s ball in found Batt but his shot hit the bar.
And just as it looked like heading to penalties, Reeves got on the end of Hurst’s cross in to end any hopes of a Wembley return for Orient.
Leyton Orient: Jones, McSweeney, Cuthbert, Baudry, Odubajo, Cox, Rowlands (Griffith 74), James, Cook, Mooney, Batt.
Unused substitutes: Vincelot, Clark, Omozusi, Smith.
Attendance: 9,421 (2,360 Orient fans)