FULL-TIME: Orient 2 MK Dons 2 - Dawson injury worry for O’s
MK Dons hit a second-half leveller to thwart victory charge
FULL-TIME: Leyton Orient 2 MK Dons 2
ORIENT skipper Stephen Dawson is fighting to be fit for Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Swansea, after limping off in the first half with a dead leg.
Orient were winning 2-1 at the time after goals from Scott McGleish and Terrell Forbes in the first 14 minutes put Orient in the driving seat after the MK Dons had taken a surprise early lead through Stephen Gleeson.
But without Dawson’s industry in midfield, the visitors hit back in the second half and grabbed a leveller through substitute Sean O’Hanlon.
In a dramatic opening spell it was the MK Dons who went ahead after just seven minutes. The visitors had played a patient game and kept the ball without looking dangerous.
But when the ball fell invitingly for Gleeson he sent an unstoppable half-volley into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
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It was a spectacular strike and gave Jamie Jones no chance in the home goal, but O’s responded magnificently and were level within two minutes.
Andrew Whing played a ball into the MK Dons area, Jimmy Smith stepped over it and allowed it to run into the path of McGleish, recalled to the side in place of Tottenham youngster Harry Kane, and he fired home his 13th goal of the season.
Orient suddenly had their tails up and almost took the lead on 11 minutes when the ball fell for Cox and he rifled a shot against the foot of the post with keeper David Martin beaten.
As O’s pressed forward they looked likely to score at every opportunity and when Charlie Daniels led a break, he fired in an effort that Martin did well to tip away.
But O’s did not have long to wait to take the lead and their second goal arrived on 14 minutes when a deep cross from Cox on the left was headed home by Forbes at the far post, who had stayed in the visiting penalty area after a corner had only been half clered.
After such a frenetic start, the game went through a quiet spell, before the O’s were forced to make a change on 38 minutes when Dawson limped off injured following a clash with Mathias Doumbe and it meant an early introduction for Kane, who slotted into midfield.
It was the visitors who almost levelled in the second minute of first-half stoppage time when former O’s star Jabo Ibehre sent in a close range header that Jones acrobatically tipped away.
MK Dons made a change at the break and threw O’Hanlon into the action in place of Danny Woodards and the substitute made an instant impression.
The second half was just 10 minutes old when Jimmy Smith conceded a needless free-kick and when Peter Leven curled the ball in fron the left O’Hanlon headed home.
O’s struggled after Dawson departed as the home side failed to make an impact although Cox went on a dangerous run, but fired harmlessly wide.
Then Smith tried his luck from the same sort of range and again the effort drifted off target and in the end a draw was just about right.
Leyton Orient: Jones; Whing, Chorley, Forbes, Daniels; Smith, Spring, Dawson (Kane 38 mins), Cox (M’Poku 75 mins); McGleish (Tehoue 67 mins), Revell. Subs: Butcher, Jarvis, Argent, Odubajo,
MK Dons:Martin, Lewington, Doumbe, Gleeson, Carrington, Guy (Amoo 65 mins), Woodards (O’Hanlon 46 mins), Ibehre, Leven, Chicksen, Chadwick (Vine 70 mins). Subs: Searle,Stirling, Baldock, Powell.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake.
Attendance: 3,131 (inc 187 MK Dons fans)