Unbeaten run ends at Leyton Orient

Scott Fraser battles for the ball

Leyton Orient 1 Charlton 0

The Addicks fell to their first league defeat in eight matches on Tuesday afternoon, losing 1-0 in their Boxing Day clash at Leyton Orient.

The O’s were 3-0 down inside ten minutes at Bolton on Saturday, and they nearly went behind inside 60 seconds today. Chem Campbell’s flick-on found Scott Fraser, who managed to get around Tom James and into the area but the Scot was off balance and scuffed his shot. With Alfie May lurking, Rob Hunt was able to divert the ball back to goalkeeper Sol Brynn.

The following 20 minutes saw the home side steady themselves and begin to grow into the game, but they nearly went behind twice in a minute halfway through the first period. First, Daniel Kanu’s cutback deflected off Hunt and fell kindly for Fraser on the edge of the box, whose curling shot was tipped away by Brynn.

Then, from the resulting short corner, Corey Blackett-Taylor clipped in a cross which Brynn inadvertently clawed away from his own defenders. The ball fell to May who volleyed first time but saw his effort blocked by Hunt with Brynn stranded.

Orient’s best opportunity of the half came in the 34th minute when James’ long throw was not cleared. Former Addick Darren Pratley’s header back into the box looped over Michael Hector and Lloyd Jones and nearly found Shaq Forde, and the on-loan Watford man went within inches of making the contact which would have diverted the ball past Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

The home side started the second half far better than they started the first, and nearly went ahead two minutes in when James’ in-swinging corner nearly went all the way in before Maynard-Brewer kept it out while under pressure from Ruel Sotiriou.

Ten minutes later the O’s got in behind the Addicks’ defence for the first time, Theo Archibald switching the play brilliantly for Ethan Galbraith, whose cut back was diverted behind by Jones.

It had been a far more open beginning to the second period, but as the half progressed the game became scrappy again. It looked as though the breakthrough might have to come with the help of some fresh legs. With ten minutes remaining, that was exactly what happened.

Dan Agyei, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, did brilliantly to beat Tayo Edun at the byline and cut back to Omar Beckles. From the penalty spot, the defender had the simple task of sweeping the ball into Maynard-Brewer’s right corner.

Two minutes later it should have been two through a near carbon copy of the goal. Forde beat George Dobson on the right and found Sotiriou at the near post, but the Cypriot was denied by Maynard-Brewer.

With three minutes to go, the Addicks nearly drew level when Dobson found Blackett-Taylor on the break. The winger cut inside and shot through the legs of Jordan Brown, but his shot was saved by Brynn and cleared by Dan Happe with May lurking.

Despite a late penalty appearl for a foul on George Dobson, the game finished 1-0 to the home side. Michael Appleton’s side are back in action again on Friday, travelling to Bristol Rovers.

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T Watson, Hector, Jones, Edun (Asiimwe 83); Dobson (c), Fraser (L Watson 83), C Campbell (T Campbell 75); Kanu, Blackett-Taylor, May

Subs (not used): Walker, Thomas, Anderson, Tedić

Booked: Dobson 90+2 (dissent)

Leyton Orient: Brynn; James (Brown 70), Happe, Beckles, Hunt; Pratley (c), El Mizouni (Sanders 85); Forde, Galbraith (Agyei 78), Archibald; Sotiriou

Subs (not used): Howes, Turns, Pigott, Moncur

Goal: Beckles 80

Assist: Agyei 80

Booked: Happe 55 (foul on Blackett-Taylor), Hunt 61 (handball), James 67 (foul on Edun), Beckles 76 (foul on Kanu), Archibald 84 (time-wasting)

Attendance: 8,499 (1,196 from Charlton)

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Read Time: 4 mins