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Leyton Orient 1 Ebbsfleet United 0 FA Cup first round match report

Ebbsfleet's FA Cup journey came to an end at Leyton Orient despite an excellent display from the visitors on Saturday.

The League 2 side produced one moment of quality to sink Dennis Kutrieb's side in the first round tie.

Fleet captain Lee Martin skips away from a Leyton Orient challenge. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Fleet captain Lee Martin skips away from a Leyton Orient challenge. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

The Fleet made four changes from their last outing, a league win over Braintree and were without defender Tobi Adebayo-Rowling due to food poisoning. That meant a role down the right for Jack Paxman.

Keeper Josh Gould was picked ahead of Chris Haigh between the sticks but it was as an attacking force that Ebbsfleet impressed early on.

In the first 30 seconds, Craig Tanner's pull back picked out Lee Martin but he declined a left-foot shot and his right-foot effort was deflected through to keeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

Fleet then broke through first Rakish Bingham and then Dominic Poleon but they were unable to get past the last defender.

The impressive Greg Cundle created himself a glorious opening on 12 minutes when he ran from his own penalty area to the edge of the Orient box. After intercepting a throw-in, Cundle carried the ball forward but he decided not to shoot when the gap appeared and his intended ball to skipper Martin went out for a goal kick.

It was all Fleet, their confidence highlighted by defender Sefa Kahraman's ambitious shot from inside his own half.

Orient threatened on 23 minutes, Harry Smith shooting wide from the edge of the box, before they took the lead a minute later.

Aaron Drinan - who bagged a hat-trick against Hartlepool in League 2 last weekend - ran in from the left and his low shot found the far corner.

The potential storm from Orient having taken the lead never really arrived and the Fleet more than held their own in the first half.

At the start of the second half, it was all Ebbsfleet again. Martin played in Poleon, who made space for himself before firing just wide of the far post on 47 minutes.

The Fleet continued to pass the ball from back to front with their usual calm approach, despite playing a team two divisions above them. Indeed, they seemed to have more space at times than in the blood and thunder of National League South action.

The game developed an edge with referee Will Finnie booking Orient's Craig Clay for a foul on Cundle and Fleet's Ben Chapman for dissent.

Bingham headed wide after an excellent Fleet move which involved both Lee and Joe Martin down the left, Cundle's shot being blocked and then an overload on the right saw the ball worked well into the area.

Ebbsfleet's Greg Cundle bursts forward at Leyton Orient. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ebbsfleet's Greg Cundle bursts forward at Leyton Orient. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

Smith was a focal point of the Orient attack and he had two chances in a matter of seconds midway through the second half.

First, Fleet defender Kahraman did well to block his right-foot shot and then the forward headed over Theo Archibald's left-wing cross.

With 20 minutes left, Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb introduced Elliott Romain and Alfie Egan with Chris Solly moving into the back three.

But the final part of the game saw Orient keep the ball better than they had previously and they won a number of free-kicks to break up any flow the visitors were trying to establish to their play.

Orient's Dan Kemp saw his lob land on the roof of the net with 10 minutes left before Tom James fired over from distance.

Fleet lost Lee Martin to injury late on, meaning they used their fifth and final substitute - a luxury in the FA Cup this season with teams allowed to use up to five players from nine.

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, James, Clay, Smith, Kemp, Archibald, Drinan, Pratley, Beckles, Ogie, Kyprianou. Subs not used: Byrne, Wood, Happe, Smyth, Omotove, Sotiriou, Young, Papadopoulos, Sweeney.

Ebbsfleet: Gould, J Martin, Kahraman, Bingham (Monlouis 85mins), L Martin (West 88mins), Poleon (Romain 72mins), Cundle, Tanner (Krasniqi 85mins), Solly, Paxman, Chapman (Egan 72mins). Subs not used: Haigh, Jombati, N'Guessan.

Referee: Will Finnie.

Attendance: 3,451 (865 away).

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