Macauley Bonne and Bondz N’Gala goals earn Leyton Orient third straight win with 2-0 success at Maidstone United
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 23 December 2017
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National League: Maidstone United 0 Leyton Orient 2
Leyton Orient’s good form under new head coach Justin Edinburgh continued with a 2-0 win away to Maidstone United this afternoon.
Goals from Bondz N’Gala and Macauley Bonne gave the O’s their first double of the National League season and extended the gap between themselves and the bottom four to six points.
The win is Orient’s third in a row after recent successes over Sutton United and Haringey Borough and adds to the growing optimism at Brisbane Road.
O’s stay 20th in the table, but heading into a busy Christmas period, they are starting to build some much-needed momentum.
Edinburgh made one change from the team which defeated Haringey 2-1 in the first round of the FA Trophy last weekend.
Jake Caprice returned to the starting XI following a three-match suspension and Myles Judd wasn’t part of the match day squad.
The first real chance of the match fell to the hosts, but Jai Reason drilled wide after a nice passing move from the Stones in the 11th minute.
Orient responded five minutes later with James Dayton whipping in a dangerous corner, but N’Gala’s header flew inches over.
Dean Brill needed to be alert in the 21st minute when Alex Finney saw a goalbound effort saved from a free kick.
Soon after and David Mooney went close after neat play between him and Craig Clay before Jamar Loza threatened against his old club.
The one-time Orient loanee fired wide in the 32nd minute before he fired another shot off target moments later after Reason had gone down under a challenge from N’Gala.
O’s on-loan defender was involved again nine minutes before the break and this time for all the right reasons.
Another Dayton corner caused Maidstone problems and N’Gala showed great composure at the back post to slot home his first goal for the club.
It remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break, but Edinburgh was forced into an early change in the 50th minute.
Matt Harrold came on in place of Dayton, who appeared to pick up a groin injury, so Bonne moved to wing and Harrold partnered Mooney up front.
The change in position for Orient’s top goalscorer failed to stifle his attacking prowess as in the 52nd minute he doubled the O’s advantage.
Caprice got forward well and picked out Bonne, who fired into the bottom corner for his 11th league goal of the season and 12th in all competitions.
Maidstone pushed for a response after Orient’s second goal with Stuart Lewis firing over before Loza tested Brill in the 62nd minute.
Delano Sam-Yorke was next to try his luck, but nodded off target and ex-Southend United attacker Joe Piggot then forced O’s goalkeeper into a routine save before he curled a free kick over with 14 minutes remaining.
Edinburgh made another change in the 83rd minute with Jamie Sendles-White coming on in place of Mooney.
Maidstone should have pulled one back three minutes later when the ball broke for Aaron Collins, but he smashed over from close range.
Four minutes of additional time were added on, but Orient stood firm to pick up a crucial three points.
It was also O’s first clean sheet in two months since defeating Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 at Brisbane Road on October 17 in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Orient will look to repeat that result on Boxing Day when local rivals Daggers make the short trip to E10.
Edinburgh will be without N’Gala after his loan from Dagenham expires following this victory, but belief and confidence is returning to this O’s team at just the right time.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice, N’Gala, Coulson, Widdowson; McAnuff, Lawless, Clay, Dayton (Harrold 50); Mooney (Sendles-White 83), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Koroma, Happe.