Spot-on Lloyd lifts Leyton Orient
17:44 02 August 2014
Friendly: Leyton Orient 1 Ipswich 1
Lloyd James’ 87th-minute penalty earned Leyton Orient a share of the spoils as Russell Slade’s men finish pre-season unbeaten.
James found the back of the net after O’s striker Kevin Lisbie was fouled in the box with just three minutes of normal time to go.
However it was no less than the home side deserved having reacted well to falling behind to a 10th-minute Balint Bajner tap-in.
It was Orient, buoyed by the arrivals of Jay Simpson, Darius Henderson and Jobi McAnuff, who started brightest, earning themselves a corner inside the opening minutes.
The ball was defended well, but minutes later Chris Dagnall was upended on the edge of the box by Town defender Jonathan Parr, giving the O’s a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Ipswich keeper Dean Gerken recognised the danger and ordered a six-man wall to try and defend his goal, and it worked, just about, as James’ effort cannoned off the top of the bar and away to safety.
It proved to be a cruel blow for Orient, who had started really brightly for new owner Francesco Becchetti who was sat in the stands, as just minutes later former Reading player Jay Tabb surged into the box and forced keeper Adam Legzdins into a smart save.
Unfortunately for the new Orient keeper the ball rebounded kindly for Bajner who tapped into an empty met to give the away side a somewhat undeserved lead.
Romain Vincelot thought he had grabbed the hosts an equaliser with just over half an hour on the clock.
The former Dagenham & Redbridge player slalomed into the box only for Gerken to divert his effort away for a corner which came to nothing.
It meant that despite being the dominant force, Slade’s men went in at the break trailing and the boss made two changes at the break as he looked for an equaliser.
McAnuff, who had joined from Reading, made his O’s debut replacing the lively Dagnall.
And within minutes the former West Ham midfielder showed the club what they have gained as he galloped clear of Ipswich defender Luke Hyam.
The new Orient no.11 then flashed a ball across the box, however there was nobody there on the end of it.
Orient continued to challenge but as is so often with pre-season friendlies the second half of the game suffered due to the amount of substitutions made by both managers.
But with just minutes left on the clock substitute Dean Cox forced Gerken into a smart save from a free-kick. And that effort buoyed the O’s into a late surge and they found themselves with a chance to equalise when Lisbie was upended in the box.
Up stepped James to convert expertly, meaning Orient should go onto their League One opener against Chesterfield next Saturday full of confidence.