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League One: MK Dons 1 Orient 0

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A goal from Ryan Lowe just before half-time sent Orient spinning to defeat at MK Dons and they have now managed just one goal in the last six games.

The O’s struggled to get going in the first half and it took a string of fine saves by Ryan Allsop to keep them in the game.

But after the break they came storming back and David Mooney had three early efforts saved before substitute Kevin Lisbie netted in the 90th minute – only for his effort to be ruled out for handball.

In a frantic finish Orient manager Russell Slade was sent to the stands by referee Robert Lewis after contesting a decision with the official.

After the game the O’s boss believed his side deserved something for their efforts after the break.

“I’ve no complaints about the goal, but on our second half performance we deserved something out of the game,” he said.

“We’re inches away we’re not miles away.”

The O’s boss made two changes to the side that had been beaten 1-0 by Coventry, as. Lloyd James came in for his first start since the Johnstone Paints Trophy win against Barnet and there was also a recall for Lee Cook.

But there was no place for Dean Cox and Ryan Brunt, who were dropped to a strong-looking bench that also included fit-again Lisbie, Jimmy Smith Ryan Brunt and Leon McSweeney.

It was the home side that made most of the running in the first half and they fully deserved their lead at the break.

O’s keeper Allsop kept his side in the contest for most of the half and as early as the fourth minute he denied Dean Bowditch with a good stop.

Indeed, the O’s keeper had made three good saves before 14 minutes had elapsed and then made another to deny Bowditch once more.

Stephen Gleeson shot just wide on 21 minutes before the Orient keeper was in action again to deny Lowe.

Little was seen of Orient as an attacking force and the best chance of the half fell to David Mooney, but he headed just over from Cook’s left wing cross.

It was vital for the visitors to hang on until the interval – but MK Dons finally made the breakthrough on 42 minutes when Orient were cut open down the right and a cross swept home by Lowe from close range.

Orient looked a different side at the start of the second half and the visitors went close to a leveller twice in the first three minutes.

Mooney was denied on both occasions by home keeper David Martin when first he controlled a pass from Moses Odubajo and fired in a shot that the home keeper blocked.

Then Cook set up the striker again and this time his shot from 16 yards was pushed away by Martin.

As O’s continued to press Cook released Mooney once more and his third effort in five minutes was saved by the keeper.

But the visitors failed to cash in Slade made the first change when he threw striker Lisbie into the fray in place of Scott Wagstaff.

However, it was the home side who almost added to their tally when Luke Chadwick fired in a shot from 16 yards, but Allsop made a simply stunning save.

Slade made a second change and introduced Cox into the action and he went close to a leveller but Martin saved his shot from 16 yards.

In a frantic finish O’s looked to have levelled in the first minute of stoppage time when Lisbie converted Cook’s corner – but referee Lewis ruled it out for handball and as tempers flared on the bench the referee dismissed Slade to the stands as Orient’s miserable run continued.

But Slade protested his innocence afterwards and said: “I asked him what it was for. He can’t send me off for that. I’m not having that.”

MK Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch (Chicksen 75 mins), Lowe (McDonald 80 mins), Kay (Kouo-Doumbe 83 mins), Chadwick, Balanta. Subs: McLoughlin, Smith, Alli, Sekajja.

Orient: Allsop 8; Odubajo 7, Chorley 6, Clarke 6, Sawyer 5; Rowlands 5 (Smith 82 mins); Wagstaff 5 (Lisbie 66 mins), Griffith 6 (Cook 73), James 5, Cook 5; Mooney 7. Subs: Jones, McSweeney, Baudry, Brunt.

Referee: Robert Lewis (Shropshire)

Attendance: 6,985 (inc 299 Orient fans)

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