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Leyton Orient and Steve Davis left to rue another slow start in the National League

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 November 2017

Leyton Orient defender Dan Happe passes the ball out from the back against Wrexham (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Dan Happe passes the ball out from the back against Wrexham (pic: Simon O'Connor).

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

The O's manager expressed his frustration after the 2-1 defeat to Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road

Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis admitted another poor start cost his team in the National League on Saturday night.

The O’s lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet United with Adam Drury opening the scoring after seven minutes before Danny Kedwell doubled the hosts’ advantage three minutes before half time.

James Dayton pulled one back for Orient in the 87th minute, but it proved to be a mere consolation for the east Londoners.

“We started the game completely how we didn’t want to start it and then we end up chasing again,” Davis told BBC London.

“Ebbsfleet then scored just before half time and going in at 1-0 gives you a chance, at 2-0 they shut up shop a little bit and slow the game down, so it becomes even harder.

“It’s a pattern we have had for two months now and in about 70 per cent of our games we’ve gone behind and not been able to recover.

“I think we’ve come from behind only two or three times all season, so you don’t give yourself a chance once you give away silly goals from individual mistakes and being outmuscled in the box or not marking properly and getting tight.

“It’s a continuation, particularly with the players we’ve got there at the moment.”

Yet again Orient’s downfall was not being able to defend crosses into their area with Drury tapping home after Charlie Grainger, Dan Happe and Mark Ellis failed to clear a centre from Luke Coulson.

Matt Harrold nearly equaliser when he stabbed at a Jake Caprice cross, but Nathan Ashmore impressively diverted his shot onto the post before Kenny Clark cleared.

Harrold went close again with a looping header from an Ellis cross, which saw Fleet’s goalkeeper backtrack and tip over.

Ebbsfleet doubled their advantage in the 41st minute though when Myles Weston was allowed too much time to cross into the area and Kedwell beat Happe to the ball from six-yards after Grainger stayed rooted to his line.

It was Fleet who created the better opportunities after half time with Grainger forced to make a couple of saves.

O’s substitute Rommy Boco then missed a great chance from a David Mooney shot before Orient did reduce the deficit.

Harrold passed into Dayton’s path with 87 on the clock and he drilled into the corner, but it failed to spark a late turnaround at Stonebridge Road in front of the BT Sport cameras with Mooney seeing a weak effort saved by Ashmore in stoppage time.

Orient stay 19th in the table, yet are only three points above the relegation zone and without a league win in 11 games.

Davis was frustrated O’s failed to use Harrold enough during the televised match with the Fleet.

He added: “We can go a bit more direct if we want to find Matt and he is on the pitch for us to go a little bit longer.

“I felt at times we tried to play too much when he was in there and pulling onto full-backs. The message was to mix the game up a little bit and play it long and stretch them and use the height we have got up there.

“We almost played at times not knowing Matt was there and we need to do the work around perhaps getting the ball a little bit more direct and getting it in the other half a little bit quicker.”

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