Stevenage 3 Leyton Orient 2: Slade bemoans defensive lapses
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Orient manager Russell Slade admitted his defence didn’t cope with the absence of captain Nathan Clarke as they shipped three goals in the first 15 minutes in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Stevenage last night.
The O’s went on to lose 3-2 in the southern section quarter-final, but Slade says they gave themselves a “mountain to climb” with the way they started the game at the Lamex Stadium.
Captain Nathan Clarke was ruled out with a back spasm while fellow defender Mathieu Baudry is still sidelined by a knee injury.
The boss said: “It was hard to re-organise and we really felt Nathan’s absence.
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“But I was really disappointed with the three goals we conceded, all from crosses which could have been prevented.”
Elliott Omozusi was the worst of a bad bunch in a dreadful first half performance.
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He deflected a shot from Stevenage striker Francois Zoko into his own net with just two minutes gone and the home side doubled the lead through a bullet header from Lucas Akins.
O’s top scorer David Mooney pulled one back with a well-taken volley almost immediately, but with just 15 minutes gone, Omozusi was penalised for handball, blocking a shot from Lucas Freeman. Filipe Morais beat Jamie Jones from the spot.
Slade bemoaned his team’s inability to make use of the man advantage they were given for more than 50 minutes after Stevenage defender Roarie Deacon was shown a red card for a last man hack on Shaun Batt.
Lloyd James pulled one back from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, but that was the end of the scoring.
Slade said: “If they got any deeper they’d have required snorkels, but we ran out of ideas.
“On another day we could have got one, but we’re only going to be successful if we taste failure, and we don’t like it.
“In the long run, with the size of our squad, this could be a blessing.”
Slade added that Clarke is 50/50 to be available for the Preston game and Baudry is likely to miss out again, but he had less to say about the antics of his opposite number Graham Westley on Tuesday night. “I try not to take too much notice of him. You know what to expect when you come to Stevenage,” he said.