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Orient edge it in Boxing Day thriller

Emdad Rahman at Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient had two debutants score as The Os recorded a third league win after beating Crawley Town 3-2 in a blockbuster League 2 game at Brisbane Road. It was a memorable day for 17 year old Sam Dalby, who replaced Jay Simpson to partner Paul McCallum up front. The newcomer scored the opener and his first goal for the Orient first team. Crawley lost possession in the middle to Gavin Massey, who played Nigel Atangana to cross for a free Dalby to volley home. The flying Massey combined with Myles Judd on 11 minutes and his cross was steered home by McCallum to beat former Os’ keeper Glen Morris.

Crawley Town, who also had former Os’ players Jimmy Smith among the ranks, looked lethargic and heavy after their Christmas turkey – leaving Orient controlling large parts of the first half. In a sensational first half McCallum completed his brace to steer Orient into a 3-0 half time lead. Massey was again instrumental as the winger combined with Judd to go through before being fouled by Jordan Roberts for a penalty which McCallum dispatched with ease.

A brave second half comeback from Crawley almost resulted in the Red Devils leaving the Matchroom Stadium with a point. Os’ second debutant – Teddy Mézague, on for Callum Kennedy – sliced past Alex Cisak on 53 minutes to reduce the deficit for the away team. Enzio Boldewijn made it 3-2 on 78 minutes after going round goalkeeper Cisak, but Andy Edwards’ Os held on for a nervy ending with some stout rearguard action led by Mézague.

“I thought the first 45 minutes was probably the best of our season. I thought the lads were excellent when they had the ball. It was a nervy finish but a massive result for us,” said Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards.

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