Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-2 Leyton Orient

1 January 2024

Match Reports

Report: Cambridge United 0-2 Leyton Orient

1 January 2024

Cambridge United tasted defeat in their first Sky Bet League One match of 2024 as Leyton Orient secured a professional 0-2 victory at a bumper Abbey Stadium…

Following a close-fought first half, the O’s came out of the blocks firing by racing into a two-goal lead moments after the break thanks to Jordan Brown’s and Dan Agyei’s close-range finishes. The hosts were unable to muster a response and score for a sixth successive game, as the winning run at CB5 was terminated.

Approaching the encounter in fine fettle, despite losing for the first time in five last time out, the U’s had been a different animal on home soil - winning six from their previous seven. The chance to leapfrog Orient in the table was at stake, who themselves had picked up steam following a run of one defeat in four.

In response to the Boxing Day defeat to Oxford United six days earlier, Neil Harris opted to name two changes to his XI as Paul Digby and Saikou Janneh returned to the fold. On the bench, Will Mannion was deemed fit to make the squad whilst Brandon Njoku – recalled from his loan at St Ives Town – also was part of the 18.

An energetic start to proceedings saw Orient claim the first major attempt on the 8th minute when Theo Archibald played in lone striker Agyei inside the area, who beat a diving Jack Stevens but rattled against the post.

The visitors probably should have been a goal up moments later when Archibald’s corner was met by Tom James in the six-yard box, who flashed a header across the face of goal which evaded numerous men.

A well-worked move on the 17th minute saw United force a final-third scare when Janneh showcased pressure to open up for George Thomas, who found Jack Lankester in the area, but the winger couldn’t keep his volley down as it fired over the crossbar.

Dangerous with their deliveries, Thomas’ corner on 23 was met by a leaping Paul Digby, whose feint header almost snuck towards Michael Morrison at the back post from a matter of yards.

Five minutes later, livewire Archibald cracked a shot from just under 30 yards out of nowhere, which almost silenced the home crowd as it dipped at the right time and cracked against the crossbar.

Well in the ascendency, a deep cross from O’s playmaker Idris El Mizouni down the left on the half an hour mark was importantly punched away by Stevens, which looked to be on a plate for a looming Shaq Forde, who could only recycle before United cleared their lines.

On the 33rd minute, Archibald’s pinpoint delivery cut open the U’s defence, with Agyei racing past Jubril Okedina and pulling the trigger from a tight angle which Stevens astutely dealt with.

Looking to turn the screw moments before the half-time whistle, Danny Andrew’s corner was headed straight back to the full-back, who cleverly cut inside and picked his spot from an angle about 12 yards out, which curled over a sea of defenders and off target.

It meant the game stayed in deadlock heading into the break, with the visitors boasting the chances but the U’s retained their threat, despite finding it tricky without a recognised forward.

A blow was dealt seconds after the players were back out for the second period when Thomas limped off owing to injury, with Sullay Kaikai replacing him.

Richie Wellens’ men raced into the lead on the 53rd minute when Max Sanders’ corner wasn’t properly cleared, prompting an unmarked Brown to drill into the back of the net from ten yards out.

Three minutes later, the U’s had a mountain to climb after a hustling Agyei showcased strength to maraud into the area and shoot through the legs of Stevens to double the healthy lead.

On the 64th minute, former U Joe Pigott came off of the bench and carved a scare when he beat two men before cannoning a powerful attempt which almost scraped the tip of the crossbar.

With their efforts to gain a consolation dwindling, time was running out for United, who introduced Ryan Bennett and Adam May before Njoku came on for his first team debut with ten minutes left on the clock.

Their best moment arrived on 82 when Njoku slipped in behind the opposing defence and played it back to Andrew, who darted down the flank and picked out Lankester with a cross, who leapt well but couldn’t divert it any lower as it sailed wide.

Lankester was at the heart of the next move, with the number ten working the space for a strike on the outskirts of the box, but the shot was dragged wide of Solomon Brynn’s right post.

Deep into stoppage time, a consolation was almost served when Njoku teed up R. Bennett in a dangerous position, but his lash at goal was claimed by Brynn.

It proved to be the end of a tough 90 minutes for United, who were unable to retain the performance levels of their recent run as they came out second best to Orient.

Up next, attention turns to the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday (6th January) as United make the trip to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers – with a scalp and a passage to the Fourth Round in their sights.


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, Okedina (R. Bennett, 65’), Morrison, Andrew, Cousins, Digby, Lankester, Thomas (Kaikai, 46’), Brophy (May, 65’), Janneh (Njoku, 81’)

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Ibsen Rossi, Gordon


Bookings: Lankester


Leyton Orient: Brynn, Brown, Beckles, Happe, James, Sanders (Pratley, 74’), El Mizouni, Forde, Galbraith (Cooper, 83’), Archibald, Agyei (Pigott, 62’)

Subs Not Used: Howes, Sweeney, Turns, Moncur

Goalscorers: Brown (53’), Agyei (56’)

Bookings: Beckles, Archibald, James, Galbraith, Forde


Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 7210 (1251 away fans)

Man of the Match: L. Bennett

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account