Orient draw positives at Preston
- Credit: Archant
League One: Preston 0 Leyton Orient 0
Orient remain three points off the League One play-off places, edging up to ninth place, after a goalless stalemate at Deepdale.
Four matches in the division fell victim to the latest band of wintry weather to hit the UK, but O’s extended their unbeaten run to seven matches after a battling effort in the north west.
Manager Russell Slade brought Lloyd James back into the Orient midfield in place of the injured Martin Rowlands and, after a scrappy opening, James had the first chance of note on 10 minutes, flashing a volley over the crossbar from outside the box.
Preston’s Stuart Beavon was stretchered off soon after, following a clash of heads with O’s skipper Nathan Clarke.
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But the hosts went close midway through the first half when Nicky Wroe’s cross was volleyed goalwards by Bailey Wright and well saved by Jamie Jones.
Clarke cleared off the line to deny Will Hayhurst on 37 minutes, after Jack King had twice seen efforts blocked, and O’s had Jones to thank for keeping the scoreline blank just before the break with a superb save to push King’s effort onto the crossbar.
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Leon McSweeney was booked in the third of six minutes stoppage time for a late tackle on Lee Holmes and substitute Joe Garner sent a shot on the turn straight at Jones just before the interval.
The visitors were forced into a change early in the second half as Scott Cuthbert picked up a knock and was replaced by Elliot Omozusi.
And O’s had another let-off on 52 minutes when King headed over a great chance from a Holmes cross.
But Slade’s men got a sight of goal just before the hour when Dean Cox sent in a good free-kick from the left, but it proved just beyond Romain Vincelot at the far post.
Omozusi had his name taken for a late challenge on David Buchanan, as the home faithful demanded red, before Kevin Lisbie hesitated and saw a half chance go begging.
Slade sent on David Mooney for Lisbie soon after, but Preston had two excellent chances as King missed the target before Jones thwarted Wroe with a superb save.
Shaun Batt made way for Charlie MacDonald with 11 minutes remaining, to give O’s fresher legs in attack, and the visitors managed to keep the ball higher up the pitch as a result.
But chances remained at a premium and the scoreline remained blank.
Orient: Jones, Odubajo, Cuthbert (Omozusi 50), Clarke, McSweeney, Cox, Vincelot, James, Cook, Lisbie (Mooney 72), Batt (MacDonald 79).
Unused subs: Grainger, Sawyer, Smith, Lee.