FA Youth Cup: Swindon Town 1-4 Leyton Orient

Swindon Town Under 18’s FA Youth Cup adventure was ended for another year as a rampant Leyton Orient side stormed to victory, reports Andrew Steele-Davis…

On a bitterly cold winters evening at the County Ground, Swindon and Orient went head-to-head knowing that the winner would face an enticing trip to Stoke City in the next round. There were also a couple of famous faces present at the County Ground with Martin Ling and John Moncur there to watch their sons Sam and Freddy in action for Orient; while Matty Jones, son of former Town player Tom, lined up for Swindon.

The opening ten minutes saw an even beginning, but with eleven minutes played it was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the evening as a cute ball sent Scott Kashkett surging into the box but Aaron Moody reacted well in the Swindon goal to deny the forward.

Town responded well to that chance and they had the Orient defence worried when a corner looped dangerously forcing Charlie Grainger to parry the ball away from danger. Will Randall then went mightily close for the home side as he sent his fierce drive just over.

Tyreke Johnson, who is being touted by many within the Swindon footballing fraternity to have a bright future in the game, showed glimpses of his talent. He went on a surging run and it was his blocked cross that earned the corner that would provide Swindon with their best chance of the half. A decent delivery into the box from the resulting corner caused havoc amongst the Orient defence, with the ball eventually falling to Joe English who could only watch on in disbelief as his effort was hacked off the line by Josh Uzun.

It was then the visitor’s turn to trouble with a corner as Moncur’s delivery nearly went straight in at the near post, but Moody reacted well to push the effort out for another corner. Orient nearly grabbed the game’s opening goal right on the stroke of half-time. Moody was rounded by Moncur who then drifted the ball towards Montel Agyemang but the striker could not get a clean connection and Moody eventually collected. A glorious clear-cut chance wasted and that was to be the last action of the first half as both teams went in at the break with nothing to separate them.

The opening ten minutes of the second half resembled the pattern of play of the first with both teams striving to notch the game’s opening goal. Salvyn Kisitu had to be alert to head a goal bound effort away for another corner, while at the other end Luke Matthews’ vicious effort on goal was blocked before Randall forced Grainger into a good save with a rasping drive.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring and in the process put themselves firmly in the driving seat. Kashket, who was a constant menace all game, cut inside before unleashing an effort that nestled nicely in the bottom corner of Moody’s goal.

That goal spurred Orient on and with twenty minutes left to play Sandy blazed a powerful effort over for the visitors as Swindon struggled to get any sort of foothold on proceedings. Just five minutes later Orient did double their advantage after Moody made a superb reaction save to keep out a firm header from Nikolaou but Alex Finney was there to prod home to give the visitors a commanding lead and two minutes later Town had more misery heaped on them. A delicious ball over the top from Agyemang split the Swindon defence in two and allowed Sinclair Sandy to gallop through clear on goal before rounding Moody and firing home with aplomb.

Town were in a state of shock and their night got even worse when Freddy Moncur lashed home a fourth for Orient in front of his dad after Swindon failed to clear a loose ball following a series of ricochets in the box.

Town made a rare foray into Orient’s half late on but could only fire wide with an effort that summed up Swindon’s second half. However, with time rapidly running out the hosts did notch a consolation when they were awarded a spot-kick after Uzun handled the ball in the box. Town Captain Matty Jones stepped up to ram home the penalty kick to reduce the deficit but that was to be the last of the action as Orient cruised into the next round.

Jamie Pitman’s side will feel disappointed after what was an even fifty or so minutes but Orient proved too strong in the end and were worthy winners. Town’s cup adventure is over for another year.

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