Orient keep run going but Dawson and Kane are out of Arsenal replay
Amazing comeback at Huddersfield comes at a cost
Huddersfield Town 2 Leyton Orient 2
TEN-MEN Orient warmed up for Wednesday night’s FA Cup fifth round replay at Arsenal with an amazing comeback to stretch their unbeaten run to 13 games.
Harry Kane and Jimmy Smith scored in the last 17 minutes, as the O’s hauled themselves back from the dead against third-placed Huddersfield Town.
But the point came at a cost as inspirational O’s skipper Stephen Dawson was stretchered off in the first half and was taken to hospital for x-rays on a knee injury – and looks certain to miss the trip to the Emirates Stadium and face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
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While Kane, who pulled Orient back into the game when he halved the deficit, was sent off four minutes later for picking up a second yellow card and will also miss the Arsenal match.
Things looked bleak for Orient when Huddersfield struck twice at the start of each half, as Jordan Rhodes and Lee Novak looked to have put the home side firmly in the driving seat.
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Orient could not have scripted a worse start. The game was just three minutes old when Jonathan Tehoue, who was preferred to lead the attack in place of Scott McGleish, saw his pass rebound off referee Peter Quinn.
Kevin Kilbane picked up the loose ball and found on-loan Arsenal striker Benik Afobe, who set up Rhodes to beat visiting keeper Jamie Jones.
Things went from bad to worse for the O’s on 19 minutes when captain Dawson went down following an aerial challenge and was stretchered off, which meant an early introduction for young Tottenham striker Kane.
Little was seen of Orient as an attacking force, but they came close to an out-of-the-blue leveller when Charlie Daniels raced down the left and sent the ball into the danger area and the in-rushing Kane was just unable to reach the pass.
It was the home side who continued to threaten and 10 minutes before the break O’s defender Terrell Forbes did well to block an effort from the dangerous Afobe.
O’s boss Russell Slade threw Paul-Jose M’Poku into the action at half time in place of Tehoue but, before the switch had a chance to work, the visitors found themselves two-nil down when the Terriers added a second four minutes after the restart.
Anthony Pilkington delivered the ball from the left and Novak had the simple task of scoring a second.
O’s, whose last defeat was a 5-0 hammering at Brighton on New Year’s Day, looked as if they might suffer a similar fate, as Novak wasted two good chances to put the game well and truly out of the visitors’ reach.
Then Afobe was denied, but Orient cut the deficit with their first genuine chance on 73 minutes.
Top scorer Alex Revell played a neat ball into Dean Cox and his cross was glanced into the net by Kane.
However, four minutes later, Orient’s slim revival hopes looked to have been wrecked when referee Quinn, who had a hand in Huddersfield’s first goal, again leaned towards the home side.
Kane, who had earlier been booked, clipped Pilkington as he cleared the ball and the man in black decided to pull out a rather harsh second yellow card.
But resilience and late goals have been a hallmark of Orient’s excellent recent run, and again Slade’s side refused to throw in the towel.
Two minutes from time M’Poku was fouled and Smith met Cox’s free-kick with a powerful header that exploded into the net, to send the visiting fans into raptures as O’s had come back from the dead and stun the majority of the 13,527 supporters in the ground.
Orient: Jones, Whing, Forbes, Chorley, Daniels (Omozusi 75 mins); Carroll, Revell, Smith, Dawson (Kane 19 mins), Cox; Tehoue (M’Poku 46 mins). Subs: Butcher, McGleish, Jarvis, Cestor.
Orient bookings: Daniels, Kane.
Orient dismissals: Kane.