Forest Green 2 Leyton Orient 0
Forest Green boss Ian Burchnall heaped praise on Armani Little as Rovers made it comfortably into the hat for the second-round draw of the EFL Carabao Cup.
Little, a summer signing from Torquay United scored in each half to knockout Richie Wellens’ Leyton Orient.
“Armani (Little) is a great finisher and connects with the ball so well and when Josh March came off with a migraine he led the line well,” said Burchnall.
The Rovers’ coach felt his side were good value for the win: “The first 30 minutes of both halves we were really good and some of the football we played was excellent. We had a couple of chances to put it to bed, but overall it was a good, collective performance, our back three were excellent and Luke McGee made some good decisions.
Earlier, Forest Green came out swinging, but found O’s keeper Lawrence Vigouroux in fine form – denying Corey O’Keefe with a strong glove from Little’s ball. Rovers’ dominance saw Ian Burchnall’s side nose ahead as Little swept home Kyle McAllister’s pass on 17 minutes.
Orient’s riposte saw Vigouroux’s opposite number Luke McGee keep Rovers’ noses in front as he gloved Jayden Sweeney’s fizzer. Richie Wellens’ side were gaining a foothold – George Moncur inducing a fine save from McGee from the edge of the box. In the dying embers of the first-half Moncur thudded the post and Paul Smyth watched his goal bound strike canon off the head of O’Keefe.
Rovers were almost called cold less than 10 seconds from the resumption – Smyth somehow clipping wide with just McGee to beat. Rovers responded with Baily Cargill dashing down the right to find Little who watched his 50th-minute shot squirm under Vigouroux.
Orient tried to find a way back through substitute Theo Archibald, the former Forest Green loanee drilling wide as Rovers booked their spot in the next round.
Forest Green: McGee 8, Bernard 7, Casey 7, Cargill 7, O’Keeffe 9 (Jones 70′), Hendry 8, McAllister 7 (Robertson 7, 70′), Little 9, Davis 6, March 7 (Stevenson 7,61′), Brown 6 (Bunker 77′)
Subs: Robertson, Stevenson, Bunker, Bennett, Matt, Thomas, Jones
Orient: Vigouroux, Beckles, Sweeney, James (Wood 69′), Thompson, Obiero, Georgiou (Brown 69′), Smyth (Archibald 58′), Ogie, Moncur (Pratley 57′), Smith (Kelman 58′)
Subs: Kelman, Sargeant, Pratley, Archibald, Wood, Tanga, Brown, Fish, Rob Hunt
Star Man: Armani Little