Crawley fell short this afternoon in the capital as they faced Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road. The home side showed why they are top of the league with a dominating performance that just lacked goals. Crawley felt they were in the game at half-time but were soon a goal down as Idris El Mizouni netted for Orient in the 49th minute. Crawley never stopped pushing but failed to create much of an opening in the second half.
It was a very positive start from the table-toppers as they comfortably controlled the first five minutes of possession at Brisbane Road. Theo Archibald looped a shot over the bar to give Crawley an early warning sign.
As we have seen in previous games, Crawley are now a real danger on the counter-attack with the pace of Tom Fellows and Kellan Gordon on the flanks. The latter almost provided Crawley with an opener before the 10th minute. Gordon beat his man with a niece piece of skill on the right and powered his way into the Orient penalty area. The wing-back flashed a ball across the box, but it evaded everyone and span out of action.
The next ten minutes that followed produced much of the same. Orient looking bright and positive in possession, with Crawley getting the odd chance at a counter-attack.
In truth, by the half-hour mark, it was amazing that Crawley hadn't conceded. Orient were starting to penetrate the Reds' defence and were finding considerable space in and around the Crawley penalty area. Fortunately for Scott Lindsey's side, Orient had not found their shooting boots.
Half-time came around soon enough, and the home side would have been scratching their heads in the dressing room as to how they hadn't found an opening. Crawley, however, would have been entering the break full of confidence, knowing that the side sitting at the top of the table could potentially be there for the taking.
Sadly, Crawley were caught out within the first five minutes of the second half. Defence turned to attack for the home side as they capitalised on a loose ball from the Crawley defence after the Reds had a free-kick cleared away. Idris El-Mizouni was fed the ball with acres of space ahead of him, and the Orient man did his job well to dispatch his shot past Ryan Schofield to give his side the lead.
With just over an hour of play gone, Ashley Nadesan was introduced for Aramdie Oteh to inject some much-needed pace into the Crawley frontline.
Orient were making good progress in their search for a second goal, and they came very close to finding it when substitute Charlie Kelman blasted an effort from range. Pretty much all of Brisbane Road thought that the strike was heading for the back of the net, but the post came to Crawley's rescue.
Sadly, there was very little Crawley could do as they succumbed to their third defeat in four matches. Scott Lindsey's side are back in action next Saturday as Carlisle travel to the Broadfield Stadium.
REDS XI: Schofield, Lynch, Conory, Francillette, Gordon (Davis 88'), Ogungbo (Mason 88'), Powell, Fellows, Khaleel (Spong 90'), Telford (Tilley 73'), Oteh (Nadesan 63')