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Joshua Richards, at Brisbane Road
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Leyton Orient 0 Swindon Town 0
The O’s extended their unbeaten run to three matches as they held Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon to a goalless draw.
The match, played amid heavy rain and swirling winds throughout, produced few clear cut opportunities.
The best chance of the game fell to substitute Jimmy Smith two minutes from time, but his fierce strike was brilliantly palmed away by Robins stopper Wes Foderingham.
Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade picked the same side that started Saturday’s 2-1 win against Notts County.
But the home side were slow out of the traps and were almost made to pay for their slack start on two minutes, but Andy Williams spooned over Raffaele De Vita’s cross.
The O’s spent the vast majority of the opening 20 minutes camped deep inside their half, but Mathieu Baudry proved formidable in defence to cut out deliveries into the box from Matt Ritchie, De Vita and Nathan Thompson.
It took 27 minutes for the Robins to test goalkeeper Jamie Jones, but the scouse stopper was equal to Ritchie’s low drive.
On 41 minutes Orient finally got their first sniff at goal when the Swindon defence struggled to clear a hopeful high ball into the box, which dropped for Charlie MacDonald who volleyed into the side-netting.
Both sides struggled to create chances at the beginning of the second half, as the torrid conditions made the pitch increasingly more difficult to play on.
Martin Rowlands saw a long range free-kick deflected well off target, while at the other end James Collins headed Ritchie’s deep cross just wide.
On 67 minutes the woodwork came to Orient’s rescue when Williams steered De Vita’s low cross goalwards, but the ball bounced back off goalkeeper Jones’ left-hand post.
The O’s had strong claims for a penalty waved away by referee Andy D’Urso with 20 minutes remaining when the lively Moses Odubajo appeared to be tripped by De Vita just inside the box – much to the annoyance of the home supporters.
Substitute Dean Cox hooked a half-volley over the bar as Slade’s men finally began to look settled.
But high-flying Swindon soon reasserted their authority and skipper Alan McCormack forced a stunning save from Jones, with his 30-yard, diagonal strike seemingly headed for the top corner.
Williams nodded McCormack’s cross wide as the match moved into the final 10 minutes.
Darren Ward should have done better when Ritchie’s corner found him unmarked at the far post, but the defender could only head harmlessly over.
Smith could have bagged all three points for Orient in the closing minutes after Odubajo had headed Cox’s deep cross back into the path of the midfielder, but the former Chelsea trainee saw his effort saved away by Foderingham.
Leyton Orient: Jones, Cuthbert, Chorley, Baudry, Sawyer, Odubajo, Rowlands (J Smith 78), James, Cook (Cox 66), MacDonald, Mooney. Subs not used: McSweeney, Griffith, Symes, Obafemi, Omozusi.
Swindon: Foderingham, Thompson, Ward, Devera (Flint 35), McCormack, Ritchie, Ferry, Miller, De Vita (Roberts 78), Williams, Collins (Martin 62). Subs not used: McEveley, Navarro, Rooney, Bedwell.
Attendance: 3,536 (794 away).