Leyton Orient secured a commanding victory over Crawley Town at Brisbane Road on Saturday thanks to two strikes from Armand Gnanduillet.
— Shoot! (@_shootfootball) February 29, 2016
Having lost two home games in a row before Saturday’s match, most recently a humbling 4-0 defeat against Northampton Town, Orient played well and kept themselves in the hunt for a place in the SkyBet League 2 playoffs.
Crawley were unable to keep Orient out of their half of the pitch throughout the first part of the match, and failed to produce any significant challenges or even a shot on goal.
Orient started aggressively, conceding two free kicks early on to Crawley after an unfair challenge on Lee Barnard, and Shaun Brisley’s muscular play.
Armand Gnanduillet gave Orient the lead just before half-time with a stunning left-footed strike. The 24-year-old Frenchman beat defender Josh Yorwerth on the turn and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net from twenty-five yards.
Crawley matched Orient’s aggression in the second half, with unfair challenges on Nigel Atangana by Matt Harrold and Lyle Della-Verde on Ollie Palmer giving away a free kick.
Former Chesterfield striker Gnanduillet showed no sign of letting up, side-footing Sean Clohessy’s well placed cross at the far post to double the home side’s lead with seventy minutes on the clock.
— Charles Ward (@CharlesWard) February 27, 2016
Crawley began to apply more pressure but kept on giving the ball away, and had to remain mostly on the defensive.
The stats made ugly reading for the visiting side: they managed only one shot on target throughout the ninety minutes to Orient’s eighteen.
Leyton Orient’s win keeps them in the play-off places, sitting in seventh, one point clear of AFC Wimbledon. Crawley remain in 17th, without a win in three games.
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan said: “I asked for a performance and I think I got it today.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the way we’ve responded to the two defeats that we’ve suffered in the last two home games with a good performance today.
“We kept at it and that was the most pleasing thing.”
Crawley Town boss Mark Yates was damning of his side’s performance: “I thought we were pretty pathetic to be honest, because we didn’t show any desire, or any hunger. We were just content with giving the ball away and having to defend it.
“We didn’t show any bottle to get onto the ball and support our strikers and we didn’t have bottle to give quality to our strikers.
“After 15-20 minutes I felt it was a game we were just getting ready to Leyton Orient beat Crawley Town with Frenchman’s double be beat on. I’m bitterly disappointed.
“I am not going to rant and rave because the players know I am not happy but I can’t keep talking about it. The good thing is we’ve got a game Tuesday to get out of the way. We have to analyse quickly and see where we went wrong.”
Leyton play Carlise away tonight at Brunton Park. Watch out for our preview of the match later this afternoon.