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Still no home win for Slade as Orient are held in Walsall stalemate

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade (Pic: Clive Gee/ EMPICS Sport) Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade (Pic: Clive Gee/ EMPICS Sport)

Saturday, August 23, 2014
5:33 PM

Os fail to claim first home win

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Orient were unable to claim their first home win of the season as they were held to a goalless stalemate by Walsall.

It could have been worse for the O’s as Anthony Forde missed a golden opportunity minutes into the second half which denied the Saddlers going back up the M1 with all three points.

The hosts started the game brightly with summer signing Darius Henderson creating problems for the Saddlers defence through his physical presence. Pressuring deep in to the Walsall half, Orient were forcing the play without creating any scoring opportunities with Dean Cox unusually profligate with his crossing.

Nathan Clarke came the closet in the first 20 minutes to scoring but saw his on target header easily cleared by the alert Walsall defence.

After surviving the early pressure the visitors grew into the game and nearly took a surprise lead when Tom Bradshaw’s header across goal had to be desperately scrambled away by a panicked Orient backline. Billy Clifford’s free-kick then forced Adam Legzdins into action as Dean Smith’s men began to pose an attacking threat.

Just before the break Jobi Mcanuff went close after his run ended with his fierce shot smashing into the side netting. A quick free-kick by the visitors almost caught Orient napping just before the half-time whistle but Andy Taylor’s cross missed Bradshaw.

Walsall should have had the lead eight minutes after the restart after a comedy of errors from all involved. Mathieu Baudry’s back pass was not controlled properly by Legzdins which allowed a predatory Anthony Forde to dispossess the Orient keeper. But his backheel attempt into an open net ended in embarrassment as he flicked the ball wide of the goal to the disbelief of all inside Brisbane Road.

The east Londoners almost made Walsall pay for that shocking miss as Dean Cox’s curling effort from inside the box forced a fine save out of visiting keeper Richard O’Donnell.

Orient were still struggling to control the game with Walsall looking the more likely to score with Forde and substitute Kieron Morris both firing shots on the hosts goal.

Both sides played a nervy final 10 minutes as both teams had to settle for a point.

Leyton Orient: Legzdins, Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, James (Bartley, 86), Mooney (Simpson, 67), McAnuff, Clarke (C), Henderson (Dagnall, 82)

Substitutes: Sawyer, Lowry, Pritchard, Bartley, Dagnall, Simpson, Woods.

Walsall: O’Donnell, Taylor, Holden, Downing, Chambers (C), Bradshaw, Baxendale (Sawyers, 66), Kinsella, Grimes( Morris, 81), Clifford (Flanagan, 76), Forde

Substitutes: MacGillivray, O’Connor, Sawyers, Benning, Flanagan, Morris, Bakayoko.

Bookings: Vincelot.

Referee: David Webb.

Attendance: 4,400 (225 away).

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