Swindon Town slipped to a 3-1 home defeat against high flying Leyton Orient despite taking the lead, writes Adrian Smith.
Nicky Ajose had put Town ahead with his 8th goal of the season but the visitors equalised almost immediately and then stretched their lead to inflict Town’s second home defeat of the season. Matters went from bad to worse late in the second half when Jay McEveley was sent off for a second yellow card when he tripped a forward just outside the penalty area.
Orient had the first corner of the match in tne 2nd minute which saw Scott Cuthbert head well over at the back post.and Swindon’s response was immediate with Nathan Thompson charging into the O’s penalty area before firing a shot against a defender.
The two sides spent the first 11 minutes passing the ball around probing for a weakness and eventually Nicky Ajose was presented with a chance when he latched onto a through ball in the penalty area but his shot was parried by Orient keeper Jamie Jones and the ball rebounded to safety.
Swindon were awarded a free kick for a foul on Ajose and when the ball was sent goalwards by Pritchard, Darren Ward’s header was wide of goal and easily gathered by the keeper.
Jay McEveley set up a fantastic chance for Ajose in the 21st minute when he wrongfooted the defence and his precision pass saw Ajose ghost in behind the defence but his first time effort went just wide of the right hand upright.
However Ajose made amends for the miss in the 23rd minute when he fired home from 8 yards after Pritchard’s deflected shot struck an Orient defender and the ball landed at the feet of the Town forward with the O’s vainly appealing for offside. Unfortunately the Town squad switched off and Orient were level within 30 seconds when David Mooney scored from outside the penalty area to draw the Londoners level and get them right back in the match.
The play was now end to end with chances for both teams which saw Orient have two corners within the space of a minute and Swindon were saved by a good defensive header from Nathan Thompson to cut out a dangerous cross with Mooney well positioned.
Both sides continued to cancel each other out without getting a clear chance on goal until the 39th minute when Moses Odubajo outmuscled Kasim to head home from a cross top put Orient ahead.
Kevin Lisbie was shown a yellow card for carrying on play after the referee had penalised him for handball shortly before halftime.
Jay McEveley saw yellow for fouls on Odubajo after losing possession in midfield and the resulting ball forward was headed behind for a corner.
The Town defender was lucky not to see a second yellow for another foul when the ball was cleared but the referee Mr Sarginson chose to call Town captain Darren Ward over to issue a final warning to McEveley. The resulting free kick was cleared and that was the last action of the entertaining first half.
Mohamed Elgabas replaced Pritchard at halftime but it was the visitors who stretched their lead within 45 seconds of the kick off when Odubajo deflected the ball home from close range to give Foderingham no chance.
Dany N’Guessan tried his luck from 20 yards with a low drive which went wide of the upright in the 50th minute and that was followed up by Ajose with a rising shot which was never troubling the keeper.
Town’s first corner of the match, in the 52nd minute, saw two Orient players postrate on the ground after a collision but only one player was forced to leave the field by the referee and he was able to continue after treatment.
There was real drama in the 62nd minute when Elgabas stumbled in the penalty area under a challenge from behind but the referee waved away the claims and showed a yellow card to Elgabas for simulation.
Louis Thompson replaced Yaser Kasim in the 68th minute as Mark Cooper tried to retrieve something from the match but the visitors were clearly on top.
Massimo Luongo went on a good run down the left wing in the 71st minute to ease the pressure on the Town defence but he was eventually halted.
Nathan Thompson saw yellow for a late challenge near the dugouts as Town’s frustration grew at being unable to reduce the two goal deficit.
Swindon were awarded a free kick for a foul on N’Guessan but McEveley’s curling effort from 25 yards was easily caught by the keeper.
Elliot Omozusi was shown yellow for kicking the ball away at a free kick in the 82nd minute but Town were unable to trouble the keeper from the resulting ball forward.
Louis Thompson tried his luck from range following a defensive clearance but his effort flew over the crossbar.
Jay McEveley was shown a 2nd yellow card as the match entered the 90th minute for a foul on an Orient forward just outside the penalty area and the resulting red card was inevitable. The resulting free kick struck the defensive wall and was gathered by Foderingham.
The scoreline could have been even worse had Foderingham not made two outstanding saves in the 5 minutes of added time, one from Odubajo who was in on goal and the other a point blank save from a header by Dean Cox.
The final whistle was blown to end a disappointing second half for Town who were punished for switching off immediately after taking the lead in the first half and now slip down to 7th place in the League One table.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Hall, Ward (C), McEveley, Kasim, Luongo, Harley, Pritchard, N'Guessan, Ajose
Subs: Belford, Branco, Barthram, Agombar, Thompson L, Elgabas, Storey