Crawley lost their second successive Sky Bet League Two match this afternoon at the hands of Leyton Orient. It was a cagey start to the game as both sides looked to hold on to the ball for as long as possible without making many attacking strides. The match was goalless at the interval, but Orient took the lead five minutes into the second half. Tom James fired a wicked volley into the back of the net as an Orient corner was only half dealt with by the Crawley's defence.
The visitors started brightly and arguably should have taken the lead inside the opening five minutes. Richie Wellens’ side put together a decent move on the edge of the Crawley penalty area, which resulted in Ruel Sotiriou having enough space to fire at goal. The Cypriot wasted his chance and blazed an effort over the bar.
Crawley did grow into the game, and James Balagizi, who impressed on his debut at Carlisle, was looking sharp once again. On a few occasions in the early exchanges, the Liverpool youngster was able to beat his man and skip away to cause Orient some trouble.
Kevin Betsy’s men then put together a Barcelona-esque move, which was put narrowly wide by James Tilley. Starting at the back with Addai, the Reds went from defence to attack in a flash as Jenks fired a ball across the face of the goal, which Tilley agonisingly put wide.
The first half seemed to fizzle out after this chance as both teams were very conservative with the ball and failed to make any more clear-cut chances.
In the 50th minute, Leyton Orient took the lead. Crawley cleared an initial corner from the visitors, but Tom James was lurking at the edge of the area and thundered a bullet volley beyond Corey Addai to give his side the lead.
In response, Kevin Betsy introduced Mazeed Ogungbo for his Crawley debut. The Reds were not down and out and were still enjoying some very decent spells of possession. Ashley Nadesan was also introduced to bring some pace to Crawley’s frontline.
The Reds began to look like the better team but were still failing to find the final pass to carve open the Leyton Orient defence.
Six additional minutes were added on to the clock to give Crawley an ounce of hope as the match ticked over to 90.
Sadly, there was very little that Crawley could do, and Leyton Orient walked away from West Sussex with all three points.
The Reds are back in action on Tuesday night as League One Bristol Rovers visit the Broadfield Stadium for the first round of the Carabao Cup.
REDS XI: Addai, Conroy, Francomb, Omole, Tilley, Johnson, Balagizi, Hessenthaler, Jenks, Nichols, Telford
Attendance: 3851 (818 away)