Stoppage time Vincelot header seals dramatic point for 10-man Leyton Orient at Sheffield United
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
League One: Sheffield United 2 Leyton Orient 2
Romain Vincelot’s header with the final kick of the game secured the O’s a battling point on the road at Sheffield United.
Jay Simpson netted his third goal in two games after 39 minutes, but the O’s sat back in the second half and Jobi McAnuff’s sending off 15 minutes from time didn’t help matters.
Just as it looked as though they may hold out, Paddy McCarthy found a way past Gary Woods, and then in stoppage time substitute Marc McNulty netted as the hosts were on course to take all three points.
But the O’s floated in a late corner and Vincelot rose highest to head home and secure a precious point for caretaker boss Kevin Nugent.
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Nugent made four changes from the side which won 2-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as Shane Lowry, Jobi McAnuff, Bradley Pritchard and new loan signing Jack Price all came in.
But much like the game between these two sides at Brisbane Road a few weeks ago, it was the Blades who started out on top.
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And again they could have scored early on as inside a minute Stefan Scougall paced pass Elliot Omozusi and his pull back found Jose Baxter but his shot was wide.
That was the closest either side would come for some time, though O’s did mount some pressure with successive corners.
The game was very scrappy though and neither goalkeeper was forced into a save until O’s Gary Woods easily held another Baxter effort after he had been set up by Jamie Murphy.
But the deadlock was broken on 39 minutes when a ball in from the left was fumbled by Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard and Henderson played it across for Simpson who bundled it in for his third goal in two games.
One almost became two as the hosts were clearly rocked and another ball in was hacked behind for a corner.
As the half drew to a close Sheffield United mounted some late pressure but a timely block from Scott Cuthbert kept the hosts at bay as the O’s took a half-time lead.
Blades boss Nigel Clough would have wanted a reaction from his side at the start of the second period and that’s exactly what he got.
Of all people Simpson was back on the line to keep out Craig Alcock’s header and then minutes later the hosts missed an even better chance.
Shane Lowry deflected a cross onto to the post and it fell kindly for James Wallace but from a matter of yards he somehow managed to scoop over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Jose Baxter then fired wide for the hosts, and while O’s failed to create anything of note in the opening 25 minutes of the second half they were coping with the threat from the hosts.
McNulty went close next for the Blades as he got a glancing header on Michael Doyle’s cross and it went agonisingly wide of the post.
The O’s were having to defend resolutely and that was the case even more so when McAnuff was sent off for his second bookable offence for a foul on Craig Alcock with 15 minutes to go.
And from the resulting free-kick the hosts had the ball in the net, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside.
The pressure was unrelenting from the Blades and former O’s loanee Jamal Campbell-Ryce was felled in the box by Elliot Omozusi but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty.
Woods somehow scrambled another effort off the line and when he was beaten Chris Basham saw a header hit the post.
It seemed as though it may not be Sheffield United’s day but they levelled when loanee Paddy McCarthy thumped home a header.
And then almost immediately after seven minutes of added on time was announced McNulty thumped another past a motionless Woods.
But just when you thought that was it late substitute Shaun Batt forced a corner and from the set piece Vincelot leapt to head home with the final action of the game to seal a point for the O’s.
Sheffield United: Howard, Alcock, Harris, McCarthy, McEveley, Flynn, Doyle, Wallace (Campbell-Ryce 71), Murphy, Scougall (Basham74), Baxter (McNulty 61).
Unused substitutes: Davies, McGahey, Reed, Turner.
Leyton Orient: Woods, Omozusi, Lowry, Clarke, Cuthbert, Price, Vincelot, Pritchard (Batt 90+3), McAnuff, Henderson (Bartley 84), Simpson (Dagnall 69).
Unused substitutes: Batt, Lee, Kashket, Grainger, Ling.
Attendance: 19,179 (599 Leyton Orient fans)