The Reds fell to defeat at The People’s Pension Stadium this afternoon in their final home league fixture of the 2021/22 season. Theo Archibald scored the first goal for Orient to put them ahead at half-time. Crawley dominated the second half but failed to capitalise as Aaron Drinan sealed the deal for the O’s in the 94th minute.
Crawley started the game on the front foot and almost took the lead through Ashley Nadesan in the sixth minute. James Tilley brilliantly took the ball down on the right wing and delivered a dangerous cross into the Orient area. Nadesan looked to be on the end of the cross but was denied by a last-ditch header from an Orient defender.
Leyton Orient looked to build themselves into the game but found themselves ahead just a minute later. Goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux smashed the ball up-field for Theo Archibald to chase. The ball cleared the entire Crawley defence and landed at the feet of Archibald, who delightfully lifted the ball over Morris to put the visitors 1-0 up.
Things looked to get worse for Crawley as referee Paul Howard awarded the O’s a penalty. Jordan Tunnicliffe looked to win the ball from Paul Smyth, but the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot. Aaron Drinan stepped up and attempted to place the ball down the middle, but Morris was alert to save with first his feet and then get back up for the rebound. Fantastic goalkeeping as usual from the Cat.
The Cat was back in action again as he denied Jordan Brown with an outstanding acrobatic save. The ball was cut back to Brown inside the box as the midfielder attempted to hook an effort toward goal. The Orient man failed to hit the ball cleanly, which worked in his favour as Morris had to scramble to his right and tip past the post.
The opening ten minutes of the first half were much better for Crawley, who had Orient camped out inside their own penalty area. A flurry of corners were cleared by the visitors as the Reds looked to grab an equaliser.
Will Ferry was required to put his body on the line to keep the score at 1-0. Smyth rounded Morris inside the box and looked to put the ball into an empty net. Will Ferry seemed to appear from thin air to block the effort on the line.
The game was reaching its dying stages, and neither side had anything to show for in the second half. Orient looked happy with a one-goal lead, and the Reds were struggling to get past a stern visiting defence.
Then came a moment of absolute madness. James Tilley beautifully finished from the edge of the box. The ball crashed off of the crossbar and clearly crossed the line. Neither the linesman nor the referee appeared to see this and play continued.
To add insult to injury, Drinan finished beyond Morris in the last minute to double Orient’s lead.
The Reds are back in action next week for the last game of the 2021/22 season as we travel to Oldham Athletic.
REDS XI: Morris, Francillette, Tunnicliffe (Davies 45’), Lynch (42’), Tilley, Francomb, Hessenthaler, Ferry, Hutchinson (Oteh 77’), Nichols, Nadesan
Attendance: 3473 (688 away)