Match report: Leyton Orient 1 Doncaster Rovers 4

Rovers took their time to get going but ran out comfortable winners against down-on-their-luck Leyton Orient.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 3:51 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:02 am
Leyton Orient v Doncaster Rovers

John Marquis moved onto 23 goals for the season while Tommy Rowe and Mathieu Baudry also found the net, delivering a scoreline which masked what was a difficult and at times frustrating afternoon for the League Two leaders.

They lacked cohension and tempo in a slog of a first half where Orient's players reflected the battling spirit of their supporters who are attempting to keep the club alive.

The hosts deservedly went into the break level after Tom Parkes cancelled out Rowe's opener.

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But Rovers always had the edge in the second half, even though they left it late to put Orient out of sight.

Darren Ferguson named the same starting XI for the fourth consecutive game while Liam Mandeville returned to the bench for only his second involvement in a matchday squad in 2017.

Rovers had real trouble getting going at Brisbane Road, largely thanks to a terrier-like approach from the beleaguered hosts.

Orient pressed superbly, starting from the front with lone striker Gavin Massey.

And their five man midfield ensured there was little to no space for Rovers to mount their preferred passing play.

It made for a scrappy opening period from a Rovers perspective and ensured Orient started on the front foot without creating much of note.

It took Rovers themselves until the 21st minute to manage their first attempt on goal when John Marquis headed James Coppinger's cross on goal only to see Alex Cisak parry it wide.

Chances continued to be at a premium for both sides.

Rowe produced a tame header from a Matty Blair cross which Cisak held comfortably.

When the first real sight of goal came on 36 minutes however, the chance was taken with real ruthlessness.

Marquis looked to have broken into the box until a superb tackle from Michael Clark sent the ball loose. Rowe raced onto it however and worked space before slamming a low effort into the bottom corner.

It was ruthlessness replicated by the hosts who grabbed a surprise equaliser a minute before the break.

A clearance sparked a counterattack with Massey winning his wrestling match with Blair to allow him to slide a pass in for rampaging centre half Parkes who slotted under Ian Lawlor with composure a seasoned striker would be proud of.

Rovers suffered a blow with Lawlor forced off at half time after picking up a knock. Marko Marosi replaced him on his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury in January.

The visitors arguably should have gone back in front less than five minutes into the second period.

Alfie May's scuffed cross rolled through to Marquis who teed himself up and volleyed from eight yards only to see Parkes dive in and block.

But Marquis would not be denied on 55 minutes as he put Rovers back ahead.

Aron Pollock played a wayward pass across the Orient defence and Marquis latched on before drilling in low off the post for his 22nd goal of the campaign.

The game should have been put to bed as the half wore on with two gilt-edged chances missed.

First, the ball fell kindly for May ten yards out but he dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

It proved to be his final act as he was replaced by Andy Williams, who quickly managed the same feat.

Intelligent balls from Craig Alcock and Rowe saw Rovers break rapidly with Coppinger removing the last obstacle with a clipped pass to put Williams clear on goal but the striker's first time effort was high and wide.

Fellow substitute Gary McSheffrey also failed to hit the target from a decent position. Latching onto a loose ball he smashed over the bar when a pass inside to Williams or Marquis who likely have produced a more positive outcome.

McSheffrey would not make the same mistake twice as Rovers grabbed a third eight minutes from time.

The veteran picked up the ball just inside the box and squared to Marquis who slammed home first time from 12 yards.

Orient fell apart after conceding a third with their defence making far too many errors.

But there was nothing the hosts could do about a quite brilliant fourth from former Orient defender Baudry.

He produced a stunning side volley straight from a corner to give Cisak no chance before refusing to join in the celebrations, earning him a round of applause from the Brisbane Road faithful.

Orient: Cisak, Pollock, Clark, Parkes, Judd, Koroma (Dalby 77), Atangana (Alzate 88), Kelly, Collins, Semedo, Massey. Subs not used: Sargeant, Happe, Mezague, Moncur, Liburd.

Rovers: Lawlor (Marosi 46), Blair, Baudry, Butler, Alcock, Mason, Grant, Rowe, Coppinger (McSheffrey 77), Marquis, May (Williams 71). Subs not used: Marosi, Lund, Evina, Middleton, Mandeville.

Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 4,791 (816 away)