Yeovil Town bowed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at the area semi final stage after a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at ten man Leyton Orient tonight.
Top scorer David Mooney’s 89th minute diving header was the only goal of a game that never really caught fire till the last quarter of an hour when O’s midfielder Anthony Griffith was sent off for two bookable offences within four minutes of each other.
But Gary Johnson’s men couldn’t capitalise on the extra man advantage and after a weak second half showing, will be bitterly disappointed with the outcome in front of more than 800 Glovers who had made the long journey to East London this evening.
One player missed tonight was Paddy Madden who was cup tied after playing for previous club Carlisle United in an earlier round.
Sam Foley deputised up front and the subs bench took on a fresh look with new signings Kevin Dawson (Shelbourne) and Matthew Dolan (on loan from Middlesbrough) coming on along with Nathan Ralph, returning after a three month injury layoff.
As a spectacle, the first half was forgettable as both sides nullified each other defensively, understandably wary of conceding an early goal in the tie. Lloyd James had the first chance of the game but shot wide from distance and Ed Upson tried catching home keeper Jamie Jones off his line but his effort from range dipped and was caught by Jones.
Jones then produced a great diving save to thwart Dominic Blizzard’s acrobatic volley on 25 minutes but Leyton Orient had the bulk of the rest of the first half opportunities via Kevin Lisbie, O’s top scorer, who saw one shot deflected off Dan Burn for a corner and another header gathered easily by Marek Stech.
O’s came out fired up for the second half and Moses Odubajo missed the target after just two minutes while Ben Chorley came up from the back to head a Dean Cox corner over the crossbar.
Yeovil’s woes started to mount when midfielder Ed Upson came off with a leg injury a minute or so later and as the pressure on the visitors battlements continued, Odubajo had a shot parried away by Stech, Cox shot across the face of goal and Stech tipped another shot from Odubajo over the bar.
Yeovil had a rare chance on 65 minutes but it took astonishing vision from Gavin Williams who tried lobbing Jones from forty yards out but his shot landed a foot past the Orient goal. Jamie McAllister then curled a free kick just over after Anthony Griffith had been booked for hacking down Williams 25 yards out from goal.
Kevin Dawson came on for his debut replacing Foley and got stuck in straight away, challenging Griffith firmly but fairly but the O’s player was still fired up two minutes later when he pointlessly kicked the ball away and received his second yellow, and a red card, from ref Darren Sheldrake.
Nathan Ralph came on for Williams with twelve minutes left and went up front to provide pace alongside Hayter but the telling strike came at the other end with less than a minute left. Scott Cuthbert crossed in and Mooney stooped to head in for goal number ten of the season, one of the most vital, as it sealed the tie.
Six minutes of stoppage time elapsed and despite throwing Byron Webster and Burn up top and sending Stech up field for attacking set pieces, the final chance of the game came at the opposite end when after counter attacking after a Yeovil corner, Lee Cook thumped his shot against the Yeovil crossbar.