Southend United Under-18s were unable to capitalise on Jack Payne’s sixth-minute opener as they succumbed to a second-half fight back from Leyton Orient to lose 3-1 on Saturday.
It took only six minutes for Southend to take the lead when Marlon Agyakwa’s cross into the penalty area bounced up invitingly for Payne to half-volley home at the back post.
Orient nearly equalised immediately but Harrison Georgiou was unable to squeeze the ball inside the right-hand post before eight minutes later, Georgiou was sent clear by Harry Lee’s pass but was thwarted by Smith in the Blues goal.
Southend then had an effort cleared off the line by Sean Grace after Pinnock chipped the ball beyond O’s stopper Charlie Grainger.
Leyton Orient then had a penalty shout turned down at the other end as Affy Obefemi’s shot appeared to strike the hand of Aaron Tatham before Jack Bridge cleared off the line for Southend.
Blues responded just before the half time break when Tatham drilled Pinnock’s corner over in the 44th minute before Grainger pushed out his header from another flag kick.
After half time Orient swiftly went 2-1 ahead within seven minutes when Wickings finished off Obafemi’s pass before he was soon on the scoresheet himself when he swept Georgiou’s return pass beyond Smith.
Edwards scuffed an Ademiluyi cross over in reply and Tatham nodded wide from another Pinnock set piece before Orient added their third.
Georgiou won possession in midfield before sprinting away to set up Elyon Egbeku who scored from 15 yards out.
Orient were then handed the chance to add fourth when Robert Hyams upending Georgiou ten minutes from the end. The forward stepped up himself to take the spot-kick, but was denied when Smith went the right way.
Blues Head of Youth Ricky Duncan was upset to lose his opening two matches.
“It’s disappointing to have lost the first two matches of the season,” he told the official website.
“But we’ve done this before and recovered, and that’s what we want to do again now.”
Southend: Smith, Jeffery, Hyams, Edwards, Banton, Tatham, Agyakwa (Ademiluyi 16), Barlow (Walker 70), Payne, Bridge (Coker 76), Pinnock.
Subs not used: Farrell, King.