Spot on James sends Orient back to the top

Lloyd James scored two crucial penalties for Orient. Simon O'Connor

Lloyd James scored two crucial penalties for Orient. Simon O'Connor - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

League One: Leyton Orient 2 Swindon Town 0

Two Lloyd James penalties sent Orient back to the top of League One.

The midfielder calmly slotted the ball into the corner either side of half-time after Moses Odubajo and David Mooney were brought down in the area.

It was no more than the O’s deserved as they dominated an injury and suspension ravaged Swindon, with Chris Dagnall, who had a goal disallowed for a foul, especially lively up front.

Brentford’s thrashing at home to Wolves saw the O’s jump back to the top of thetable on goals scored, albeit having played two games more than both their rivals.

The home side made one change from Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Stevenage. Elliot Omozusi recovered from a groin injury to replace Gary Sawyer at left-back, who dropped to the bench.

The visitors arrived at Brisbane Road missing a host of first team players and it showed as the O’s dominated the first half.

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Dagnall was full of running and could have had a first half hat-trick. The former Barnsley man agonisingly hit the post after he latched onto Mooney’s lofted pass.

Early on Nathan Byrne’s block denied Dagnall after he dispossessed Troy Archibald-Henville. And from the resultant corner, Tyrell Belford – a late replacement for Wes Foderingham who injured himself in the warm-up – made a superb point black save to deny the striker.

The Robins, who Russell Slade has not lost to since he became Orient manager, offered little going forward and Eldin Jakupovic was a virtual spectator in the home goal.

When Odubajo blazed high and wide after a cute pass from Dagnall it looked like the teams would be going in goalless at the break.

But the same combination saw Odubajo draw a foul from Jamie Reckford and referee Gavin Ward had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Orient have missed five penalties this season but James made no mistake from 12 yards to set the hosts on their way to three crucial points.

The game continued in the same vein after the break, with Mooney heading over from Scott Cuthbert’s dangerous cross.

And it did not take long for Orient to make the game safe. Mooney was wrestled to the ground by Archibald-Henville and again James sent Belford the wrong way.

Ryan Harley and Reckford drew saves from Jakupovic to remind the O’s the game still had to be won, but in truth the league leaders should have won more comfortably.

Dagnall was harshly judged to have fouled a Swindon defender as he headed in Dean Cox’s dangerous cross, but it mattered little in the end as Mooney, Cox and substitute Shaun Batt missed late chances to make it a more emphatic scoreline.

Orient: Jakupovic; Cuthbert, Clarke, Baudry, Omozusi; Odubajo, James, Vincelot, Cox; Mooney (Lisbie 83), Dagnall (Batt 75). Substitutes not used: Larkins, Sawyer, Bartley, Ness, Simpson.

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