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Archived News from October 2005

3rd October 2005 15:08

Ian Wilkerson, Evening Post, 03 October 2005
Defender Alex John-Baptiste held his hands up for the second Orient goal, which was originally credited to striker Gary Alexander.

The young defender was unable to get out of the way after Kevin Pressman saved Craig Easton's original free-kick.

Baptiste said: "I didn't think it was a free-kick in the first place. It was whipped in and I think Kevin did the right thing in punching it because it was slippery.

"I was only a couple of yards away and I couldn't do anything about it. It just hit me and went in. It's just one of those things.

"But you make your own luck.

"We had three or four clear-cut chances but we are shooting ourselves in the foot all the time. It is not good enough."

Ian Wilkerson, Evening Post, 03 October 2005
Leyton Orient 3 v 1 Mansfield Town

Miserable seasons often go through a number of stages.

A club begins with a rocky start, explained away as a bit of a blip that will be sorted out when the players get to know each other and the way they play.

Then you talk about it being early days and how there is still plenty of time to mount a promotion challenge.

They are already past this stage at Field Mill: Saturday proved just how far the Stags have to go before they can even think about being on a par with the likes of Leyton Orient.

That is not to say they were outplayed. They had the better chances and three times were clear on goal only to fire wide.

For Stags the next emotion in the progression downwards has already set in. The "what-have-we-got-to-do-to-win" feeling.

Orient were no great shakes. Manager Martin Ling admitted as much when he said he was delighted his team can now win without playing particularly well.

But their goals against Mansfield on Saturday were unmissable as the Stags' habit of shooting themselves inn the foot came back to haunt them.

What makes the situation all the more difficult is that the club is in limbo.

In an atmosphere where some local media are throwing every name under the sun into the frame for the vacant manager's job, in what appears to be a crusade to force the chairman's hand, Peter Shirtliff is expected to get them out of the mire with the same players which caused Carlton Palmer to despair.

It is hardly fair on him and he has to be admired for keeping his dignity and determination to force his own case for the job.

A new manager is not going to suddenly turn them into world-beaters.

They are a team that should not be bottom of League Two but they cannot keep giving away such bad goals.

The first was a simple tap-in from Joe Keith, when Shane Tudor had plenty of time to knock a cross in and Stags were unable to clear.

The second was just a calamity. Alex John-Baptiste's declaration that Kevin Pressman did the right thing in punching Craig Easton's free-kick was diplomatic in the extreme, as it looked like it bounced off him from where I was sitting.

And, typically for a team at the bottom of the pile, they could only despair as the ball hit John-Baptiste to go in.

Mansfield got themselves back into the game with a Glies Coke goal but then the match was tied up when Efe Echanomi finished off a long punt down the pitch. It was all depressing stuff.

Shirtliff wants to bring in new players but restricted to the loan market and with little chance of anyone with sufficient experience coming on a temporary transfer and sorting it out, it looks a very difficult task.

A win against Shrewsbury would give them a big lift and it may prove that one good result will make a big difference.

But I remember people saying that after the wins over Stoke and Southampton in the League Cup.

It did not materialise then and it looks unlikely to do so now.

The Stags are in serious trouble and attention turns to the chairman.

It is a difficult one for him. He needs to sort the situation out as soon as possible to stop the team slipping further into the mire.

This will be the most important appointment he has made during his time at the helm because he has to get this one right.

It seems it is time for action, not only on the pitch, but off it as well.
Ian Wilkerson, Evening Post, 03 October 2005
Stags caretaker boss Peter Shirtliff said a decision over the manager's job was the key to getting a grip on the season.

Mansfield are now three points adrift at the bottom of League Two following their defeat at Leyton Orient.

Shirtliff, who has announced he would like the job himself after taking over from Carlton Palmer two weeks ago, said the situation is not helping.

"Uncertainty is difficult and it is something that needs to be dealt with," said Shirtliff. "Once it is sorted, everybody knows and it will be clear what is happening and where the club is going.

"But at the moment, we need a bit of maturity and a bit of presence. That is what is lacking rather than effort.

"Hopefully, there will be fresh blood in this week: there is only one ingredient that is required and that is hard work."

Defensive errors cost the Stags yet again and they now have just one win from their 12 league games this season.

They face Shrewsbury at Field Mill on Friday.

Shirtliff added: "If you concede three goals, you will lose matches. End of story.

"We did not defend well enough and were not clinical enough when we had chances, and that is a combination for defeat.

"I don't entirely blame the back four because I think it is a team thing. There seems to be a problem in knowing what is required and we are lacking presence.

"We have only failed to score in one game but we are conceding far too many goals.

"For the third one, we were on the edge of their box and were beaten by a long punt down the field. It isn't good enough.

"It is imperative for new faces to come into the club but it is going to be difficult to get people to come."

Ian Wilkerson, Evening Post, 03 October 2005
Leyton Orient boss Martin Ling believes his side cruised to victory and there is still more to come.

However, after seeing his team go second in the table, he admitted Mansfield had the chances to make it a lot closer.

He said: "We were still comfortable and did enough to win it even though it was not an A1 performance.

"I thought we could break them down at any time but they had three or four one-on-ones and maybe could have added to their tally."

Goals from Joe Keith and an own goal from Alex John-Baptiste put the O's in a commanding position and, after Giles Coke had hit one back, substitute Efe Echanomi hit a third just seconds after coming on.

Ling said: "I thought Efe might give us a bit of pace and it was a great finish. As a manager I will take the credit for that substitution.

"It is nice to win when you are not at your best; to prove your B-game can get you through as well."


Gary on target again as O's go second.
Gary Alexander made it seven goals in six games as Orient beat bottom club Mansfield at Brisbane Road today. Joe Keith opened the scoring in the first half, with Alexander pouncing early in the second, when Matt Lockwood's fierce free kick rebounded off Stags keeper Kevin Pressman's body. Giles Coke put the visitors back in the match with a nod-in after Simon Brown's shot came back of the underside of the bar. Efe Echanomi, coming on as sub for Jabo Ibehre, made the game safe, scoring with his first touch within a minute of making his entrance. The win takes the O's to within a point of leaders Grimsby, but the performance was well below the level of the previous two wins. Mansfield had several good chances, and the main difference between the two sides, despite the gulf in league positions, was in their respective finishing. But at the end of the day, isn't that what makes a successful team...
Three Wins In Three For Upwardly Mobile O's
By Leo Tyrie

GOALS from Joe Keith (pictured), Gary Alexander and Efe Echanomi gave Orient a 3-1 win over Mansfield Town on Saturday - their third victory in a week. The O's were not at their best but still had enough to see off the struggling Stags, whose goal came via the head of Giles Coke.

ORIENT made it three wins in a week with a 3-1 home victory over struggling Mansfield Town on Saturday.

But the win was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggests as Mansfield, who travelled to east London as the Football League's bottom club, gave a good account of themselves and wasted a number of decent opportunities.

Orient were more clinical in front of goal though, and strikes from Joe Keith, Gary Alexander and Efe Echanomi meant they would move up to second in the table.

Martin Ling's men continued from where they had left off on Tuesday night against Torquay and made most of the early running.

And they were rewarded on 16 minutes when Alexander slipped the ball through to Shane Tudor in the right channel. The O's wingman advanced to the by-line and sent in a low cross that evaded Alex John-Baptiste in the middle and left Keith with the simple task of knocking home at the far post.

The O's were only playing well in patches though and Giles Coke almost levelled soon after but shot wide after bursting through.

A clever short-corner routine at the other end almost saw Orient double their lead, but Keith's low cross was touched onto the post by a Stags defender.

Gareth Jelleyman and half-time sub Adam Rundle both fired wide when they should have done better as Mansfield kept up the pressure, but Orient found the game's next goal on 58 when a mixture of Alexander and John-Baptiste bundled the ball home after veteran keeper Kevin Pressman had spilled Matt Lockwood's free-kick.

Coke hauled the visitors back into the contest eight minutes later when he headed a loose ball home after Simon Brown's shot had rattled the bar.

But Orient's supersub Echanomi sealed the points seconds after leaving the bench on 75 when he outmuscled Jon-Olav Hjelde to reach a long ball forward and place the ball past Pressman.
Leyton Orient 3 Mansfield Town 1
Steve Hartshorn's Observer report

Keith 17, Alexander 58, Echanomi 74. Coke 65.

Attendance 4,164 (197 Stags).

The Stags found themselves rooted to the bottom of the Football League following defeat at Leyton Orient last weekend,

The defeat, Mansfield's sixth in their last nine league outings was hard to take for at times The Stags more than matched their victor's.

In a bright start by both sides, Mansfield looked at ease as they attempted to build on the 1-1 draw earned at Macclesfield in midweek. Simon Brown did well to earn Stags a fifth minute corner but as the ball came over and with the O's defence full of indecision, Stephen Dawson totally miss-kicked on the edge of the area and the chance went away.

Orient, on a good run of form came close to taking the lead on 7 minutes, but after a good run to the by-line Alexander had his close range effort blocked.

A minute later, Brown created space for himself in the Orient area but unfortunately his shot merely bounced off of Glyn Garner in the O's goal and was hurriedly cleared.

The home side achieved the breakthrough on 16 minutes and again it was a case of yet more poor defending from Stags than actual creative play from the opposition. Shane Tudor skipped down the Stags left hand side, beating Buxton for pace before sliding his cross to the edge of the Stags six yard box where Peers failed to effectively clear leaving Joe Keith with the simple task of finishing from close range.

Two minutes later, Stags should have drawn level. A fine through ball from Hjelde found Jelleyman braking into the Orient area. Jelleyman got the better of the defender, but with just the goalkeeper to beat, agonisingly screwed his effort inches wide of the right hand post.

Stags were still well and truly in the game and on 23 minutes a fine move involving Coke and Dawson saw Dawson's shot blocked and go for a corner.

On 24 minutes a well worked corner from Orient almost saw them take a two goal lead but Keith's cross come shot was deflected and struck the foot of the post.

Jake Buxton became the first player to go into the Referee's book for a foul on Tudor on 27 minutes.

On 31 minutes, Stags earned their 3rd corner of the game. The ball was only half cleared by the O's defence and fell to the feet of Coke, but his shot was blocked by Gabriel Zakuani as the O's defence cleared the area.

Three minutes later The Stags should have been on level terms. Richie Barker brilliantly held up the ball before turning and sliding the ball to feet of Giles Coke. Coke then set off on a run from just inside the centre circle to the edge of the Orient penalty area, but after looking favourite to score, The Stags midfielder dragged his shot inches wide of the right hand post.

Six minutes before the half time break Zakuani was guilty of hand ball in a challenge with Barker. Jelleyman took the free kick, but when the ball came to Birchall, his shot was blocked and went out for a corner.

In added on time, Hjelde had to be at his best with a last ditched tackle on Ibehre.

Peter Shirtliff decided to shake things up at the start of the 2nd half by introducing Adam Rundle at the expense of Jake Buxton. Jelleyman went to a left back birth, Birchall to the right hand side of midfield and Simon Brown partnering Barker up front.

On 52 minutes, Rundle wasted a great opportunity. Brown brilliantly held up the ball in the area before squaring the ball to the unmarked Rundle, but his shot flashed well wide of the mark.

Five minutes later Orient extended their lead. Easton took a long-range free kick that Pressman failed to hold. As the ball squirmed loose it deflected off John-Baptiste and crossed the line. O's captain, Alexander who was in close attendance, claiming the goal.

Pressman was back to this best just a minute later, diving to his right hand side to save a goal-bound header from Keith.

On 65 minutes Stags were awarded a free kick. Barker opted for power and was unlucky to see his effort take a slight deflection and go inches wide of the mark. But from the resulting corner, Stags gained a lifeline. Brown turned neatly and fired towards goal, his effort smashed against the crossbar but fell conveniently for Coke to simply nod the ball into the empty net.

On 69 minutes Stags almost drew level. As the O's defence attempted to clear, the ball broke to Alex John-Baptiste who from 30 yards hit a low shot that Garner diving to his left hand side, did well to get a hand to.

On 75 minutes, both side made a change. Uhlenbeek coming on for Peers and Efe Echanomi replacing Ibehre in the O's attack.

Within five seconds of coming on, the O's substitute had added the home sides third. A hopeful punt up front found Echanomi in a one on one with Hjelde, the ball fell kindly for the O's front man who then used his pace to brake away and confidently beat Pressman. The Substitute celebrated in style with a spectacular series of somersaults.

Stags tried in vain to get back into the game. Brown finding Birchall who then put in a low cross that Barker connected with but Garner saved with his legs at the near post.

The final whistle saw Stags troop off the field with heads held low and three points adrift at the foot of the table.

This Friday night Stags come face to face with Shrewsbury Town at Field Mill desperate for a moral boosting victory. The Shrews have in recent weeks, beaten Notts County and last weekend, drew with leaders, Grimsby Town.

Leyton Orient

Garner, Lockwood, Simpson, Mackie, Easton, Alexander, Keith, Zakuani, Miller, Tudor, Ibehre (Echanomi 75).

Subs not used; Barnard, Carlisle, Morris, McMahon.

Mansfield Town

Pressman, Peers (Uhlenbeek 75), Jelleyman, John-Baptiste, Dawson, Barker, Birchall (Littlejohn 87), Buxton (Rundle 45), Coke, Brown, Hjelde.

Subs not used; Day, McLachlan.

Referee – Keith Stroud.

Observer Man of the match – Jon Olav Hjelde.


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