An all London tie in the third round of the FA Youth Cup as Leyton Orient travelled to Plough Lane to take on Wimbledon. Orient beat Bristol Rovers in the 120th minute in the last round in a dramatic 4-3 win. The Dons beat Swindon Town 4-2 at home in the second round.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors as Pegrum got down the left hand side and found Smith-Kouassi who forced a save from Griffiths. Orient’s number nine then got on the end of a corner from the right, but his header was collected comfortably.
The away side having the better of the early stages, putting some pressure on the Wimbledon defenders and forcing the keeper into the game. Pegrum was enjoying some space down the left and was a consistent out route for the back line, using his pace and skill to deliver crosses into the box.
The host were struggling to string a run of passers together in order to get up the pitch and Orient kept the pressure and field position in the opposing half.
But they did begin to come into the game and in the 25th minute they took the lead against the run of play. Williams played a through ball into the path of the forward whose shot was saved by Phillips, but he was then unable to also keep out the rebound from Lock who found the net via the keeper.
The O’s responded well though as they unleashed two efforts at the Wimbledon goal, one from Pegrum one from Clements, but Griffiths again saved comfortably. The contest became scrappy as both sides were unable to take hold of the ball and dictate play.
It was the home side who looked more likely to double their lead as Williams drove a dangerous cross across the face of goal and Phillips needed two attempts to handle a long shot shortly after. Orient had a good chance just before the break after a good move, but Davies’ shot did not have quite enough bend and it went past the post.
Wimbledon went into the break one goal to the good thanks to Lock’s rebound goal. The away side brought on Avgoustdis at halftime as captain Clements made way.Leyton Orient began the second 45 stronger and Smith-Kouassi beat the keeper to a long ball but his shot on goal was blocked by a Wimbledon defender in what was a great chance to equalise.
Another chance fell to the O’s as they broke forward and Davies stung the fingertips of Griffiths with a fierce shot from just outside the area. Goal scorer Lock was forced off with a hamstring injury with half an hour left to play and just before, Welch was booked for a nasty sliding tackle as Wimbledon broke forward.
Unlike the first half, the contest was very stop-start with neither team able to maintain a flow with the ball and several yellow cards being brandished. The Dons had a great chance to finish the game off as a cross came in from the left, but Phillips made a magnificent save to keep his side in the game.
Pegrum nearly found the leveller a couple of minutes later as he twisted and turned before getting away a shot. But Griffiths made the stop at his near post to keep the hosts ahead.
Wimbledon looked the more likely to get a goal rather than Orient as eight minutes of added time wore on. The visitors needed the ball up the other end of the pitch but were sloppy in possession.
Phillips made yet another save as the home side could not get a second to kill the game off.
Orient had a last ditch corner to try and take the game to extra time and it was recycled back in but were unable to find the net.
The whistle was blown straight after and Wimbledon advanced to the next round thanks to the only goal of the game from Lock in the first half. A frustrating night for the O’s as they bow out of the cup, the players understandably gutted at full time after putting maximum effort in, but it was not to be.