Crawley slip into relegation places with Orient defeat

Crawley Town V Port Vale 20-12-14 (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141220-194816004
Crawley Town V Port Vale 20-12-14 (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141220-194816004

Crawley Town dropped into the League One relegation places with a 4-1 defeat away at fellow strugglers Leyton Orient this afternoon.

Orient inflicted Reds with their third straight defeat to leapfrog them in the table and move out of the relegation places.

A 2-1 win for Crewe at Oldham moved them off the foot of the table and puts them level on 22 points with 21st placed Crawley.

Reds got off to the worst possible start as the returning Dean Cox fired the hosts ahead on six minutes he put a perfectly-placed free kick to the right of the Brian Jensen.

Former O’s man Jimmy Smith, however, netted his first Crawley goal and levelled the scores just four minutes later.

Chris Dagnall restored the home side’s lead with a header on 18 minutes before substitute David Mooney and Dagnall sealed the win for Orient with goals on 88 minutes and the fifth minute of stoppage time.

There were four changes for the Reds as Brian Jensen returned due to Crystal Palace refusing to extend Lewis Price’s loan spell, while Gwion Edwards was back after his hernia operation and Conor Henderson and Matt Harrold both started.

Sonny Bradley (ankle), Josh Simpson (hamstring) and Lanre Oyebanjo (calf) were all injured while Izale McLeod served the last game of his three-match ban.

Orient took the early lead as Cox beat Bobson Bawling, at right-back, to find Dagnall and Dean Leacock gave away the free kick for a handball infringement and Cox curled home superbly from the edge of the box.

Reds were soon level as Henderson’s cross was attacked by Harrold and Smith put away the equaliser after the striker’s header came back off the bar.

Orient restored their lead on 18 minutes as Cox crossed for Dagnall to head into the top right-hand corner.

The scrappy second half ensued after the early drama and Reds had Leacock limp off with eight minutes left and he was replaced by Emmett O’Connor, who came on to make his League debut with Marvin Elliott dropping to centre-back.

With three minutes left, Orient sealed the win as Mooney’s shot was parried and Dagnall teed him up again to finish at the second attempt.

Deep in stoppage time the hosts rubbed salt into the wounds as Dagnall converted his second from close range.

Crawley: Jensen, Bawling (Young), Leacock (O’Connor 82), Walsh, Dickson, Elliott, Smith, Edwards, Harrold, Miller (Tomlin 67), Henderson. Unused subs: Banya, Isaacs, Richefond.

Attendance: 4,108.