Nugent praises Leyton Orient’s character after last-gasp equaliser at Sheffield United

Leyton Orient caretaker manager Kevin Nugent applauds the travelling fans after yesterday's 2-2 draw

Leyton Orient caretaker manager Kevin Nugent applauds the travelling fans after yesterday's 2-2 draw at Sheffield United. Pic: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Leyton Orient caretaker boss Kevin Nugent praised his side’s character as Romain Vincelot’s late stoppage-time header sealed a share of the spoils for 10-man O’s 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.

Jay Simpson had given the visitors a half-time lead, but Orient were on the back foot for the second period.

They somehow kept the Blades out until after Jobi McAnuff was sent off for his second bookable offence and Paddy McCarthy scored a late leveller for the hosts.

Nigel Clough’s side then went in front in stoppage time thanks to Marc McNulty’s header.

And that looked like sealing the win, however, Vincelot thumped a header past Mark Howard in the 99th minute from Jack Price’s pinpoint corner as the O’s remained unbeaten on their travels.

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And Nugent, while relieved with the point, couldn’t quite believe what he had witnessed.

“It was dramatic from the start,” said Nugent. “It was a fantastic game for the neutral but I thought it was pretty difficult on the sidelines.

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“We showed tremendous spirit throughout the game and then to think you have lost it and come back again. It was fantastic game.”

It was certainly a backs-to-the-wall job for the O’s in the second half as they continually sat back and invited pressure.

For the most part they remained resolute thanks to a combination of goalkeeper Gary Woods, some last-ditch defending and the woodwork.

And while Nugent admitted his side had little answer to the Blades second half pressure, he couldn’t fault the commitment of his side.

“In the second half we got camped in but although things are getting cleared you can only do that if you are willing to throw your body on the line,” he added.

“To think you may have lost it and then to get back in again is great but it was a real up and down afternoon.”

The O’s were down to 10 men for the final 15 minutes following McAnuff’s dismissal, but Nugent felt the experienced midfielder could count himself unfortunate to be sent off.

“You get caught up in moments and unless you have been out on that football pitch I wouldn’t criticise anyone for situations like that,” said the caretaker manager.

“What I would say is I am not sure if the second one was a booking and I thought there was a foul on Romain Vincelot for their first goal as well.”

And it was the first time the Blades had dropped points at Bramall Lane since their opening-day loss to Bristol City.

“Only Bristol City have come here and beaten them. They score so many late goals,” said Nugent.

“The crowd are fantastic here. You could see the pressure building particularly with the way the game went. We were getting camped back and the crowd got on top, but I thought it was a very good game.”

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