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Match Reports

Report: Leyton Orient 0-3 Stevenage

2 September 2023

Match Reports

Report: Leyton Orient 0-3 Stevenage

2 September 2023

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A dominant performance as Stevenage take home three points from East London...

After a busy deadline day which saw three new players walk through the door, Stevenage made the short trip to East London to meet up with familiar foes Leyton Orient. It was the first encounter between the two clubs in the third tier for almost a decade.

The Gaffer made five changes from the side that picked up a hard-earned point against Pompey as Luther James-Wildin, Nathan Thompson, Dan Sweeney, Nick Freeman and brand-new striker Charlie McNeill all made the starting eleven.

Stevenage supporters could be heard loud and clear before kick-off which allowed the lads to start the game brightly, winning a corner after just thirteen seconds. Dan Butler provided the dangerous ball, with Finley Burns marginally missing the header.

The hosts had a surprise chance after six minutes, completely against the run of play, as Ruel Sotiriou ran through on goal. Taye Ashby-Hammond was quick off his line to put the forward under pressure as his effort shattered the crossbar, meaning the score remained goalless.

Manchester United loanee Charlie McNeill was keen to impress after signing for Stevenage a day prior. He displayed a quick burst of pace down the right-wing after ten minutes before finding Jamie Reid inside the area, but last-ditch defending denied Reidy a clear chance at goal.

Ten minutes later, McNeill fulfilled his task to impress as he grabbed the opening goal on his Stevenage debut. Dan Butler’s clever free kick to the front post caught The O’s completely off guard as McNeill’s first-time effort calmly found the bottom corner to put his new side in front.

Boro were pressurising the Orient defence once again after the half-hour mark as they looked to double their lead. Charlie McNeill was instrumental in yet another chance as he played a dangerous low ball into the area, finding Jamie Reid who laid it off to Jordan Roberts, with his effort flying just over the crossbar.

A trademark Stevenage set-piece occurred minutes before the interval as the visitors from Hertfordshire got their second of the afternoon. Dan Butler’s corner met the towering head of Carl Piergianni who knocked it down for Dan Sweeney to tap in to double his side’s lead going into the break.

No changes were made by either side at half-time as the second half soon got underway with Stevenage possessing a two-goal lead. Boro continued to press and work hard in order to prevent the hosts from getting back in the game.

On the hour mark, Charlie McNeill was substituted off and deservedly received a superb ovation from the travelling support. It was Elliott List to take his place, looking to see out the victory.

Orient did try to crawl back into the game, but as time progressed, they had a mountain to climb and Stevenage, who looked rather comfortable, weren’t allowing them any glimmer of hope. Ethan Galbraith had a rare chance to nick one back for the O’s but his effort was deflected out for a corner.

Despite the two-goal lead, Boro were not afraid to seek a third as they remained relentless in their pressing.

Eventually, with ten minutes to go of the ninety, they found that third goal to really kill the game off. The ball couldn’t have fallen any more perfectly for Nick Freeman who saw the opportunity to volley from thirty yards, with his effort smashing off the crossbar and into the back of the net. A goal of the season contender for sure.

Richie Wellens’ men had an even bigger mountain to climb yet Stevenage still looked to press their every touch. Five minutes remained and goalscorer Nick Freeman made way for Alex MacDonald who slotted into midfield to professionally see out the game.

In additional time, there were three more changes from the Gaffer with Harry Anderson, Harrison Neal and Reece Hannam coming on for Jordan Roberts, Dan Sweeney and Jamie Reid who could all be proud of their performances.

Boro had absolutely no worries from there as they saw the game out to perfection. The referee eventually blew his final whistle to send Stevenage back to Hertfordshire with a massive three points to keep them at the top end of the table.

Attendance: 8,287 including 826 away supporters.


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