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Leyton Orient 1 Ebbsfleet United 1 match report

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet's winning run came to an end at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

Fleet travelled to East London on the back of four straight victories in the National League and led through Corey Whitely's early strike at Brisbane Road.

But the O's were level by half-time and, had their decision-making in the final third been better, Justin Edinburgh's side could have taken all three points.

Corey Whitely opened the scoring at Brisbane Road Picture: Andy Payton
Corey Whitely opened the scoring at Brisbane Road Picture: Andy Payton

There was a recall for ex-Wolves defender George Elokobi in one of four Orient changes from the FA Trophy exit at Gateshead in midweek although Dartford old boy Ebou Adams, on loan from Norwich, kept his place in midfield.

Ebbsfleet, playing their first game for a fortnight, were unchanged from the 1-0 win at Hartlepoool. New loan signing Norman Wabo was named among the substitutes.

James Brophy saw his early cross sliced behind the Fleet goal by Jack Payne, with Danny Kedwell charging down goalkeeper Dean Brill's attempted clearance at the other end.

But the visitors' opener, on 15 minutes, came out of the blue as Whitely latched onto a flick and drove the ball first time under Brill.

Macauley Bonne, who perhaps should have converted a low cross just before the goal, looked lively but was denied by an excellent Kenny Clark block when he darted in from the left and got a shot away.

Kedwell released Luke Coulson down the right and he turned his man inside-out before lashing a shot across the face of goal. At the other end, Adams thumped a volley wide from outside the box when Fleet failed to clear Sam Ling's long throw.

The home side were starting to build up a head of steam. Jake Caprice almost teed up Bonne with a cross from the right and Ling then collected Brophy's pass only for his strike at goal to lack power.

It was little surprise, therefore, when Orient equalised in the 32nd minute. Brophy drove to the byline and drove in a dangerous cross which Dave Winfield, on the stretch, crashed into the top corner for an own goal.

The home crowd were up now and Ebbsfleet experienced a few rocky moments at the back in the latter stages of the first half. Referee Chris Pollard copped a load of abuse when he blew for a free-kick after Ashmore dropped a cross - and the visitors were perhaps fortunate to get that decision.

However, Jack Connors' fine pass down the left got Andy Drury in behind the O's defence although his lob from a narrow angle dropped over the crossbar.

The home side should have taken the lead seven minutes into the second half. Brophy got the wrong side of right-back Sam Magri and had Dan Holman waiting for a tap-in but took one touch too many and drove the ball across the face of goal instead.

Brophy and Holman did combine moments later but Holman was flagged offside as Clark dived in to block his shot.

Josh Koroma whipped a free-kick just wide after a silly foul by Whitely but the flow of play was disrupted by a series of stoppages. One of those was for an injury to Magri, who had to be replaced by Chris Bush as the visitors switched to a back three.

A left-wing cross from Connors was headed wide by Whitely, arriving late, before Mr Pollard decided to book Clark for a strong but fair challenge on Brophy. The home fans wanted Clark off while the travelling contigent were angry the decision had gone against them at all.

Substitute Jack Powell saw a free-kick held by Brill although there was a let-off for Winfield at the other end. The Fleet skipper was caught out by David Mooney, who should have squared for a team-mate in the middle but instead poked the ball straight at Ashmore.

It was all Orient in the closing stages and Brophy drilled a low shot past the post from 20 yards after coming inside from the right, although Winfield threw himself at a header which dropped wide at the other end.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Caprice, Coulson, Elokobi, Ling, Koroma (Reynolds 75mins), Clay, Adams, Brophy, Bonne, Holman (Mooney 63mins). Subs not used: Grainger, Ekpiteta, Harrold.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, Magri (Bush 61mins), Winfield, Clark, Connors, Payne, Drury (Shields 55mins), Rance, Coulson (Powell 68mins), Whitely, Kedwell. Subs not used: Miles, Wabo.

Attendance: 4,127 (546 away).

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