Leyton Orient secure first points of the season by ending Swindon Town's impressive home record
Leyton Orient secured their first victory of the season away to Swindon Town and at the same time ended the Robins’ incredible unbeaten home record.
Orient went into the contest without a point this season but they were arguably the better side throughout against Swindon, who are expected to challenge for the title this season and have not lost at home since August 30 2011.
The match was settled in the second half by the game’s standout performer as summer signing Lee Cook scored from close range.
Before the game, Orient were second from bottom, although they have played one game less than most of the teams in the division after the fixture with Hartlepool United was postponed.
Orient were booed off the pitch by a section of supporters following the Crawley Town defeat last week, when Slade accused some fans of having short memories after the team’s success two years ago.
The Os made just one change to their line-up today with Moses Odubajo making way for Kevin Lisbie, whereas Swindon had five alterations to the side which went out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy midweek to rivals Oxford United.
Swindon have been tipped by many to achieve back-to-back promotions this season after storming to the League Two title and welcomed five new arrivals in the 48 hours prior to the transfer window closing last week.
The Robins have started the campaign in reasonable form with seven points from a possible 12 and have continued their remarkable home record, which sees them unbeaten at the County Ground since August last year. They have also not conceded a goal at home in their last 12 outings.
Swindon hit the headlines last weekend when enigmatic boss Di Canio substituted goalkeeper Wes Foderingham after just 21 minutes, which led to an outburst from the player and then subsequently the manager.
However, the pair made up early last week and Foderingham retained his place on Tuesday and this afternoon. And with star man Matt Ritchie returning to the line-up this afternoon, Swindon named an extremely strong side against Slade’s men.
Leyton Orient started brightly but it was Ritchie who created the first real chance of the game as he picked out Raffaele De Vita at the far post and his volley would have almost certainly nestled in the net had it not been for a superb last-ditch block by Leon McSweeney.
New Os signing Lee Cook showed flashes of quality early on and would have hoped to test Foderingham when the winger dragged his effort wide of the fast post.
Orient were arguably the better side in the opening half an hour but there were very few moments of quality.
Foderingham may have left the field early again this week had he not just beaten Dean Cox to a through ball but the Swindon goalkeeper arrived a fraction of a second ahead of the Orient wide man and cleared.
The visitors should have taken the lead soon after when Cook’s quick feet resulted in the ex-QPR man making it to the byline and laying the ball off perfectly for Michael Symes eight yards out, only for the striker to completely mishit his effort.
It was Cook who again created the next opening as he sent a teasing cross into the six-yard box, but once more his strikers failed to capitalise, with Kevin Lisbie unable to make decent contact with the delivery six yards from goal.
Supporters had to wait until the 51st minute for the first shot on goal when Orient failed to clear Ritchie’s cross despite the best efforts of Rowlands and the Swindon man shot straight at Ryan Allsop.
The Os ‘keeper had to make his second stop moments later and again it was from Ritchie. This time it was a volley from 20 yards but again it was straight down the middle.
Swindon were growing into the contest but Orient took the lead before the hour mark when McSweeney did well on the right and his cross was helped on its way by Dean Cox before arriving to Cook, who struck the ball powerfully past Foderingham at his near post.
The home side enjoyed a positive spell immediately after the goal as Ritchie’s header was tipped over by Allsop and then Swindon’s danger man had an effort blocked by Chorley from the resulting corner.
Di Canio used all three changes in a bid to change the game and one of them, Adam Rooney, could have scored a minute after coming off the bench.
Rooney beat Chorley to a pass and slipped the ball past the centre back. He looked set to shoot from 18 yards but then received considerable pressure from behind by Clarke and showed honesty as he stayed on his feet and subsequently dragged his effort wide, when many would have fallen for a penalty.
Cox curled a 30-yard free kick on to the roof of the net but apart from that, there were very few moments of interest as the game came to a close.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Swindon created a great opportunity as Joe Debera was free on the right-hand side of the box but despite having four team-mates in the area, he smashed into the side netting.
Swindon: Foderingham; Devera, McCormack, Flint, Bessone; Ritchie, Miller, Navarro (Ferry 51), De Vita; Collins (Rooney 65), Williams (Benson 74).
Subs: Bedwell, Bostock, McEveley, Ward.
Leyton Orient: Allsop; McSweeney, Chorley, Clarke, Sawyer; Cox, Griffith, Cook, Rowlands; Lisbie, Symes (Brunt 80).
Subs: Grainger, Baudry, Smith, Laird, Odubajo, Obafemi.
Referee: Dean Mohareb.