04:00PM, Monday 26 July 2021
Sam Barratt. Photo by Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 1, Leyton Orient 2
Maidenhead United were beaten by league opposition for a second successive friendly, as the O’s emerged victorious from this warm-up match at York Road.
However, Magpies’ boss Alan Devonshire will have been heartened by the application, and at times quality, shown by his side as they continue to get match sharpness ahead of the new campaign which kicks off on August 21.
Last week they lost 3-1 to MK Dons in a game of 30-minute quarters, and this time they went down to a late penalty having matched the O’s and equalised in the second half through new signing Emile Acquah.
It didn’t take Orient long to open the scoring, when a long throw in from Tom James caused confusion in the Magpies’ penalty area. Dan Happe flicked the ball on for Marcus Barnes to send a header crashing off the bar, only for it to fall kindly for O’s captain Darren Pratley to volley home.
Chances were hard to come by for both sides at York Road, as supporters enjoyed unrestricted access for the first time in almost 17 months. Aaron Drinan squeezed a shot narrowly wide of James Holden’s post before half-time as the home side went in for the break trailing.
An even start to the second half saw Drinan go close again with a glancing header, but it was United who created the better chances. A deep inswinging corner almost brought them a leveller, while a foul by Matty Young on Acquah gave Sam Barratt a sight at goal from a free-kick. His left-foot strike beat the wall by flashed just the wrong side of Lawrence Vigouroux’s post. United ramped up the pressure once more and soon had a deserved equaliser when Ryheem Sheckleford’s right-wing cross picked out Acquah who diverted a lovely left-footed volley over the keeper and in off the post.
The O’s made some changes and brought more energy into their game with them. One of those, Jayden Sweeney, was wrestled to the ground in the area with six minutes to play and Ruel Sotirou blasted home from the spot to secure Orient’s first win of pre-season.