WHAT could have been the start of the Great Escape looked like the beginning of the end for Newport County AFC.

This battle of the bottom two was supposed to be the match that kick-started the revival for the Exiles in front of a bumper crowd.

But Graham Westley’s men produced surely the worst display of his reign as they were ripped apart by a team of teenagers.

Josh Koroma, aged just 18, helped himself to a hat-trick after Steven Alzate, also 18, had opened the scoring.

The defeat, coupled with wins for relegation rivals Hartlepool United, Accrington Stanley and Crewe Alexandra, means they are now 11 points from safety.

They do still have a game in hand but this shambolic performance makes that look sadly academic.

It had all looked promising in the opening minutes as Alex Samuel curled a shot just wide and Ryan Bird saw a header tipped over the bar.

But it all fell apart in spectacular style after that false dawn.

Orient scored with their first real attack in the eighth minute as Josh Koroma beat makeshift right-back Sid Nelson for pace down the flank and squared for the unmarked Steven Alzate to tap in from close range.

Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Koroma raced onto Sam Dalby’s defence-splitting ball and slotted past the advancing Joe Day with ease.

The shell-shocked Exiles slowly gathered themselves but could only muster a wild Dan Butler effort in response before Marlon Jackson, recalled in place of Craig Reid, saw an excellent shot tipped over acrobatically by Orient goalkeeper Charlie Grainger.

They looked to be gathering some momentum as Samuel saw a shot deflected behind and Butler curled a free-kick just wide.

But it was game set and match in first half stoppage time as the flat-footed County defence was again caught out on the break.

Dalby broke through the middle and laid it on a plate for Koroma to stroke in his second of the match.

The half-time whistle was greeted with loud booing from the home fans.

Things could only get better in the second half, couldn’t they?

No. It was less humiliating but no less dispiriting for the Amber Army.

Westley brought on Joss Labadie and Sean Rigg in place of Nelson and Darren Jones but it made little difference.

Koroma could have completed his hat-trick four minutes after the break after he sprinted away from Scot Bennett and went down under a challenge from the on-rushing Day only to receive a yellow card for diving.

  He only had to wait another quarter of an hour, however, as Mark O’Brien was adjudged to have fouled Alzate in the box.

Day got a hand to Koroma’s penalty but he succeeded only in diverting it into the top of the net to complete the rout.

Aaron Williams replaced Jackson up front but, despite efforts from Rigg and the dogged Samuel, they rarely looked capable of claiming what would have been the most desultory of consolation goals.

It all added up to a miserable 49th birthday for Westley, who left the pitch with cries of ‘resign’ ringing in his ears from the stands.

County: Day; Nelson (Rigg, 46), Jones (Labadie, 46), O’Brien, Demetriou; Samuel, Rose, Bennett, Butler; Bird, Jackson (Williams, 65)

Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, Owen-Evans, Reid

Booked: O'Brien, Labadie

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 3,378 (395 Orient)

Argus star man: Samuel