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Preston draw a special occasion for Leyton Orient skipper Clarke

16:50 18 January 2015

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O's Nathan Clarke (left) returned to the Leyton Orient starting line-up for a 2-2 draw at Preston North End on Friday night. Pic: Simon O'Connor

2 Burnham Road Chingford London E4 8PE

Captain Clarke delighted with the O’s point against a Lilywhites side skippered by his brother Tom.

Leyton Orient skipper Nathan Clarke believed the side showed plenty of character as the O’s picked up a hard–earned point in a 2-2 draw at Preston North End on Friday.

After David Mooney gave Orient the lead, they found themselves behind after goals from Jermaine Beckford and Paul Gallagher gave the Lilywhites the advantage going into the closing stages.

But up popped Chris Dagnall and his ninth goal of the season 12 minute from time to seal a point, and the result left Clarke in a positive frame of mind.

“We will definitely take the positives out of that. I thought in the first half we did particularly well,” said Clarke.

“Going ahead we felt we were playing really well in the first half and we knew in the second half that they were going to be strong and getting the penalty, we thought that was maybe going to be it, they are going to sit in and being the team that Preston are they are hard to break down.

“But we did well and we always have that threat with Dagnall playing and the speed he has got. He is a nightmare for the defenders.

“We did well getting back into it and we felt nice and strong up front.”

And though disappointed with both goals Orient conceded on Friday, the O’s skipper believed both were both slightly contentious.

“We are obviously disappointed with the goals,” he added. “The first one looked offside - I’ll have to have another look at that - and the penalty was pretty soft.”

The 31-year-old returned to the starting line-up against Preston for the first time in a month having been on the sidelines through injury.

And Friday’s game was also a special occasion for the centre half and his family as he came up against brother Tom.

But not only did he come up against him, but the two brothers skippered their respective sides – the first time that has reportedly been done since Gary and Phil Neville skippered Manchester United and Everton respectively in a Premier League match in 2006.

“I was delighted to get the nod,” said Clarke. “It was a big game for the club trying to get as many points as we can but personally to play against my brother with us both being captain was fantastic and is something that possible doesn’t happen that often.

“We will go home now and realise what it meant to our family and friends.”

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