Leyton Orient made it back to back away league wins with a hard-fought 2-0 over Stevenage on a blustery afternoon at the Lamex Stadium.
Substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew at the heart of both goals scoring one and being heavily involved in the second. The first came on the 61st minute when Maguire-Drew punished some poor defending from Stevenage. The second saw Conor Wilkinson score his fifth of the season to sink Stevenage.
Story of the Game
It was a very cagey start to the game as both sides struggled to find the killer pass.
The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors as veteran winger Jobi McAnuff found space just outside of the Stevenage box, but his shot dragged well wide of the post.
The first chance for the hosts came in the 15th minute, as Jack Aitchison found space at the top of the Orient box and let off a powerful drive but Lawrence Vigouroux was equal to it and pushed it behind.
There were two great chances for both sides about halfway through the first half. The first for the hosts, when Danny Newton latched onto a Scott Cuthbert knockdown, but his effort was well saved by Vigouroux. Orient then went up the other end, and Conor Wilkinson hit a sweet strike that went narrowly wide of the post.
Stevenage enjoyed more possession as the first half wore on, but their final ball did let them down. The best chance of the half did fall to the hosts in the 33rd minute. Ben Coker had a free-kick just outside of the Orient box, his strike hit the wall, but Arthur Read's follow up forced a spillage from Vigouroux, but the Orient keeper was able to gather the ball at the second attempt.
Orient's best chances of the half came just before half time when Wilkinson tried to dink the keeper, but Jamie Cumming tipped it over.
Stevenage had the first clear cut chance of the second half in the 48th minute when Elliot List was released in the Orient box, but Vigouroux well saved his shot from a tight angle.
Orient's first chance of the second period fell to substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew. Some neat footwork allowed the forward some space, but Cumming did well to turn it behind. The resulting corner was well dealt with by Borough.
The deadlock was finally broken just after the hour mark by the visitors. A mix-up at the back allowed Danny Johnson to find substitute Maguire-Drew, who calmly put it past Cumming.
The second came less than five minutes later when Maguire-Drew found McAnuff who slid in Wilkinson to finish.
Stevenage did try and get back into the game, and their best chance came 15 minutes from time when Aitchison found space in the Orient box but his powerful effort was well saved by Vigouroux.
Stevenage continued to hound Orient but just weren't able to set up a grandstand finish.
The killer ball proving difficult for Stevenage
The 2-0 scoreline did flatter Orient somewhat as Stevenage were more than a match for the East London side. Stevenage continually got in good positions to create some clear cut chances by the final killer pass let them down. The one time they got in behind the Orient defence, List's poor touch led to him taking it too wide to have much of a chance of scoring. Aitchison was the only player to create for Borough, but goals look like they will continue to be a problem for Stevenage this season.
Maguire-Drew the Super Sub
The first half was full a very few chances but the second was more dominated by Orient. This was due in part to the half time change which saw Maguire-Drew brought on. Maguire-Drew was at the heart of both goals as he calmly netted the first and then flicked captain McAnuff in to find Wilkinson. Maguire-Drew always looked a threat whenever he got on the ball, and when McAnuff went off midway through the second half, he was the creative fulcrum for Orient.
Man Of The Match
Even though Maguire-Drew was faultless when he came on, today's man of the match has to go to fellow Orient attacker Conor Wilkinson. A headache for the Stevenage defence all afternoon and thoroughly deserved to get on the scoresheet. In the goalless first half, Wilkinson looked the most likely to score for Orient, but he took Maguire-Drew's influence to unlock Stevenage's backline which Wilkinson took advantage of well.