Leyton Orient 0 Preston North End 1 match report: Lacklustre Orient surrender top spot
Looking dazzled by a rare day in the spotlight without Premier League football, Leyton Orient suffered a first home defeat since February and with it lost their place at the top of League One yesterday. Until a late rally, the London side were outplayed by a Preston team organised and disciplined under Simon Grayson in an effective 3-4-1-2 formation.
That meant a personal victory for Tom Clarke, the younger brother of Orient's captain Nathan, with whom he shared eight years at Huddersfield Town before both moved on. Clarke and his colleagues in a three-man defence comfortably contained the prolific Orient strikers Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney, with 22 League goals between them so far this season.
Orient also lacked bite in midfield, mainly as a result of a piece of French cynicism. Romain Vincelot, who normally takes the enforcer's role, deliberately attracted a yellow card last week in order to trigger an automatic suspension and miss the less important Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie that Orient lost at Stevenage in midweek. The Football Association, wise to the ruse, handed him an extra ban for yesterday's game.
"He's the heartbeat of the team," their manager Russell Slade admitted. "We tried to overturn the ban and were quite shocked by the verdict." He would have greater justification for surprise at the manner in which his team froze, having come through impressively in previous games against leading opposition.
It was a hugely disappointing performance in front of the best crowd of the season of 7,123 – one that would still look horribly lost in the Olympic Stadium – plus those watching from the balconies of the flats at each corner of the stadium.
The home side had just wasted their only half-chance of the first 30 minutes, Elliot Omozusi cutting his cross back straight to a Preston defender, when the visitors broke upfield and scored. Keith Keane crossed and Joe Garner, the former Watford and Nottingham Forest striker, struck a superb volley past Jamie Jones for his fourth goal in three games.
One Orient substitute, Shaun Batt, added some vigour in the second half and another one, Robbie Simpson, making his debut, passed up their only real scoring opportunity when Declan Rudd denied him right at the finish.
"We were very, very good from start to finish," Grayson said. "When we had to we scrapped and battled and we played when we had the chance to. We've got the players to hurt any team on the day."
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Jones; Omozusi, Cuthbert, N Clarke, Sawyer (Batt, 62); Odubajo, James (Baudry, 70), Bartley, Cox; Lisbie, Mooney (Simpson, 81).
Preston (3-4-1-2): Rudd; T Clarke, King, Wright; Humphrey (Huntington, 90), Welsh, Keane, Laird; Gallagher (Kilkenny, 83); Davies, Garner.
Referee Keith Hill.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Phil Hughes: A swashbuckling, raw and talented batsman who had the world at his feet
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez are on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'