Slade: ‘A point was right in the end’
League One: Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 0
Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 0
Orient stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games with a battling performance against Stevenage on Saturday.
The O’s had enough chances to have won the game in the first half and that almost came back to haunt them as Stevenage threatened to take control after the break in a game high on graft, but low on craft.
After the game Orient manager Russell Slade said: “A point was probably right in the end.
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“I thought we had the better of the first half. There were three chances and they all seemed to fall to us, so I was slightly disappointed we didn’t take one of them.
“But to be fair, Stevenage came back in the second half, so all-in-all it was fairly equal and a draw was probably a fair result.
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“I thought four fifths of the job was keeping a clean sheet, because I always fancy us to score at home. But today it was not to be.”
The O’s manager made two changes to the side that had beaten Bromley in the FA Cup the previous weekend, as Dean Cox was ruled out with a knee injury, while Leon McSweeney was suspended.
So fit-again Kevin Lisbie returned to lead the attack and on-loan midfielder Tom Clarke was recalled after Huddersfield had refused to let him play in the FA Cup.
Clarke came in to midfield and Jimmy Smith filled in at right back and the first 20 minutes turned into a war of attrition.
But midway through the half the O’s put their foot on the gas and created four good chances in an impressive seven-minute spell.
First Lisbie threaded the ball inside a defender for George Porter to race on to and he cut in from the right and pulled the ball back, but David Mooney couldn’t get a touch.
Two minutes later Mooney rolled a shot from the left across the face of goal and inches wide of the post, then Charlie Daniels found Lisbie, who controlled the ball, but shot just wide then,
As Orient enjoyed a purple patch, Mooney sent Lisbie clear, but the striker couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and Chris Day in the visiting goal saved.
After the break Daniels shot wide after a good move instigated by Porter, who himself went close with an effort on the hour.
But slowly the tide started to turn and the introduction of Stevenage substitute Chris Beardsley saw the visitors gain the upper hand.
As Stevenage threatened to win the game, Ben Alnwick in the home goal kept Orient on terms with a great double save from Luke Freeman and Beardsley after Daniels had been caught in possession, then Phil Edwards sent a drive from the edge of the area crashing against the foot of a post.
O’s hit back strongly in the closing stages, but could not grab a winner and a draw was just about right.
Leyton Orient: Alnwick 7, Smith 7, Cuthbert 8, Forbes 7, Daniels 7, Spring 6, Mooney 7 (Cureton 73 mins), Clarke 6, Dawson 7, Porter 7, Lisbie 7. Subs: Butcher, Laird, Cestor, Odubajo.
Orient bookings: Mooney 39 mins foul.
Stevenage:Day, Wilson, Laird, Charles (Beardsley 54 mins), Ashton, Edwards, Roberts, Freeman (Long 85 mins), Bostwick, Henry, Shroot (Byrom 46 mins). Subs:Julian, Harrison.
Attendance: 4,862 (inc 1,028 Stevenage fans)
Referee: Carl Berry