17th September 2016
In a relatively quiet opening 45 minutes the Glovers created the most meaningful attempt on goal when Ryan Hedges forced Alex Cisak into a smart low save midway through the first half, as Town looked to control proceedings in London.
The second half saw the game open up and after a spell of pressure, Town took the lead after 76 minutes when a brilliantly worked short corner saw Tom Eaves place a pinpoint header past the hapless Cisak.
The goal had been coming for the visitors and Yeovil held out to claim victory, before being applauded off the pitch by all four sides of the stadium, highlighting the nature of the performance from the Somerset outfit.
Darren Way made one change to the side that started against Hartlepool United last weekend, with captain Darren Ward coming in for his first appearance of the season after recovering from the injury that ruled out him out for the end of the 2015/16 campaign.
The 38-year-old instantly regained the captain’s armband and replaced Alex Lawless in the side, allowing Matt Butcher to switch to his preferred midfield position, with Nathan Smith shifting to left-back.
In a first half that was slow to get going, the first shot of the game didn’t come until after the 10 minute mark when Gavin Massey’s tame effort was easily collected by Artur Krysiak, whilst at the other end Kevin Dawson’s cross found Nathan Smith at the back post, but his ball back across goal was claimed by Alex Cisak at his near post.
Former Glover Harry Cornick pulled a ball back from the by-line after 18 minutes, but Jordan Bowery was only able to blaze over the bar from the edge of the box when under pressure from Alex Lacey.
Town looked dangerous on the break and Cisask was forced to concede a corner when Hedges’ cross was palmed behind with Tom Eaves lurking, and the Swansea loanee had Yeovil’s best chance of the half just before the half hour mark.
The winger cut inside past Callum Kennedy before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box, with a slight deflection causing Cisak to dive low to his right to push away the danger.
Eaves – who put the centre-back pairing of Tom Parkes and Yvan Erichot under endless pressure in the first half – thought he was through on goal after Hedges long ball, but referee Darren Deadman adjudged the Town striker of fouling Erichot in the process of running onto the ball.
With the home crowd growing in frustration, Way’s side grew in confidence and Matt Dolan came within inches of connecting with Otis Khan’s in-swinging cross, as Yeovil ended the first half on top.
The game opened up after the break and after both Kennedy and McCallum fired over the bar for the hosts, Yeovil began to cause havoc in the O’s final third.
Dolan’s cross from wide on the left narrowly evaded Ward in the middle, before Eaves’ knock-down from a deep Smith cross was well cleared by Parkes as Khan poised to shoot first time.
Smith proved to be the Glovers’ best outlet down the left wing and it was his initial skill – to skip past Pollock – and then cross which allowed Eaves to head at goal, only for Cisak to save with a little under 20 minutes remaining.
The pressure continued to build on the hosts and after 76 minutes Town took the lead.
A quickly taken short corner found Butcher close to the by-line inside the box, and the midfielder’s pinpoint cross found Eaves who headed past the Orient ‘keeper off the underside of the crossbar to send the travelling 272 Yeovil supporters into raptures.
With the home crowd silenced the O’s looked to hit back immediately and Massey’s shot through a number of bodies had to be well saved by Krysiak, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes Alex Lacey produced a stunning last ditch challenge to block Massey’s shot from the angle, as Orient pushed numbers forward in search of an equaliser.
Way introduced Bevis Mugabi for Otis Khan in the final few minutes in a bid to see out the match, and despite a sustained spell of pressure in Yeovil’s final third Orient couldn’t find a way past a resilient Glovers defence.
Substitute Jay Simpson had a shot brilliantly blocked by Smith with Dawson clearing McCallum’s effort on the follow up off the line, before Simpson fired a shot straight at Krysiak with the last action of the game, as Town claimed a deserved three points from their visit to the capital.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Lacey, Ward, Smith; Dawson, Butcher, Dolan; Khan (Mugabi 89’), Eaves, Hedges.
Bookings: Butcher 26’, Smith 35’, Dawson 56’.
Subs not used: Maddison, Ezewele, Lawless, Whitfield, Sowunmi, Campbell.
Leyton Orient: Cisak; Hunt (Pollock 45’), Parkes, Erichot, Kennedy; Massey, Weir (Atangana 63’), Kelly, Cornick; McCallum, Bowery (Simpson 63’).
Bookings: Erichot 60’
Subs not used: Grainger, Palmer, Nnomo, Semedo.