Os too strong for City
City slip to 5-0 defeat in opening friendly
St Albans City 0
Leyton Orient 5
A SEVEN minute hat-trick from Leyton Orient’s Scott McGleish was the highlight of an otherwise tepid opening friendly for St Albans City.
In truth the game was little more than a fitness exercise for the Saints so early into their pre-season training. The good news for City was that Adam Everitt surpassed all expectations getting through 90 minutes as he stepped up his rehabilitation following his summer hernia operation.
The Saints started with a familiar lineup with just trialists Shane Hill and Jack Bailey in the starting XI while Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade named his strongest XI to begin the match.
The visitors opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Alex Revell collected Adam Chambers’ pass, lofted it over captain Ryan Frater, and drilled it low past Michael Emery.
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City were dealt a further setback when Danny Johnson was forced off after Chambers had left a boot in the challenge. Johnson was replaced by Rob Magwood.
The home side were indebted to goalkeeper Emery in the 28th minute when the Lincolnshire-based stopper stuck out a boot to deny Revell a second following good work from Kenny Gillet down the left.
City had the ball in the back of the Orient net on the half hour mark when Shane Hill’s miss-hit effort found Roberts who swept home but the City celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s flag.
Orient made it 2-0 seven minutes later when Revell robbed Emery of the ball, rounded the stricken goalkeeper and teed up McGleish for a tap in.
It was 3-0 on 41 minutes with McGleish grabbing his second. The striker turned Peters inside out before firing against Emery’s right hand up right but the ball fell to Revell who squared it back to McGleish and he fired home from close range.
McGleish grabbed his hat-trick just two minutes later, running onto Chambers’ pass before lobbing it over the advancing Emery and into the empty net.
Both sides made a plethora of changes in the second half and this disrupted what flow there was.
A good cross from Pete Smith caused panic in the Os defence but Inih Effiong was unable to get on the end of it and the visitors cleared the danger.
Orient’s Romanian striker Adrian Patulea then called Emery into action turning Jack Tidd and shooting from 20 yards but the City stopper gathered comfortably.
Among Orient’s second half substitutes were former Saints Lee Butcher and Jake Argent. Argent, who appeared for the club on work experience last season, slipped the ball down the side of defender Urquhart for Patulea but the striker fired across the face of goal and wide.
City struggled to make inroads against the Os and it was the visitors who looked like adding to the score.
A long kick from Butcher was flicked on by George Porter into the path of Patulea but his fierce volley was parried behind by Emery.
Orient eventually added a fifth nine minutes from time when Matt Spring’s effort from distance took an unkind deflection off Everitt and nestled in the top right hand corner of Emery’s net.
It could have been six late on when Porter wriggled free on the City right and dinked over a cross but Patulea headed over from close range.
Against a strong Orient outfit, City were always going to struggle and not too much should be read into the scoreline. On a positive note, Michael Emery, James Fisher and Everitt all got 90 minutes under their belt and Smith continued his excellent form from last season with another marauding performance down the left flank.
St Albans City: Emery; Fisher, Everitt, Frater (Tidd 53, (Chaves 69)), Smith (Urquhart 53); Peters (Limbara 46), Johnson (Magwood 27), Hill (Tenkorang 53, (James 60)), Bailey (Kweme 53); Roberts (Seymour 53), Effiong (Logon 64).
Sub not used: Seymour.
Leyton Orient: Jones (Butcher 46); Omozusi (Beautyman 63), Gillet, Chorley (Patulea 63), Forbes (Millward 63), Spring, Jarvis (Smith 46), Chambers (Eagle 46), McGleish (Argent 46), Revell (Porter 54), Dawson (Cestor 63).
Referee: Dave Rock (Hatfield)