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Robin Cottle at Brisbane Road
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
League One: Leyton Orient 1 Oldham Athletic 1
Korey Smith’s superb last-gasp equaliser denied Orient at the death.
Scott Cuthbert’s header in the last minute of the first-half had looked like it would clinch the points.
The Scottish defender powered home his fourth goal of the season from Dean Cox’s corner but the home side could not see out the game.
Oldham were not without their chances though, most notably in a goalmouth scramble when only substitute and former O’s front man Charlie MacDonald will know how he failed to equalise before the same player fired wide when it looked easier to score in the dying minutes before Smith’s late intervention.
Orient made two changes to the team which drew at Walsall. Marvin Bartley came in for the suspended Romain Vincelot while veteran Kevin Lisbie replaced Chris Dagnall in attack.
Shaun Batt was unavailable after pulling during the warm-up on Saturday.
Winger Cox, making his 200th appearance for the club, was a constant menace to the visitors although the half-time score was an unfair reflection on the first 45 minutes.
The Latics did not look like a side with relegation fears as Jonson Clarke-Harris and David Worrall brought decent saves out of Eldin Jakupovic.
Cox was Orient’s main threat and he created glorious chances for Lisbie and Moses Odubajo but both failed to hit the target – Lisbie headed wide when it looked easier to score and Odubajo fired into the side netting.
After Danny Philliskirk should have done better having skipped around Mathieu Baudry, Cuthbert bulleted a header past former O’s goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.
And there was still time in the first period for the visiting goalkeeper to deny Orient top scorer David Mooney with a wonderful save with the Irish striker through on goal.
The second half was an even affair with clear cut chances few and far between. The imperious Jakupovic tipped Gary Harkins’ inswinging free-kick wide.
But Cuthbert should have doubled his and the home side’s tally when his point blank header was somehow kept out by Rachubka before MacDonald missed his golden chance for the visitors.
And after MacDonald fluffed his lines Smith beat Jakupovic from range to deny the O’s.
Orient: Jakupovic; Cuthbert, Baudry, Clarke, Omozusi; Odubajo, Bartley (Ness 20), James, Cox; Mooney (Simpson 85), Lisbie (Dagnall 75). Substitutes not used: Jones, Sawyer, Gorman, Lasimant.