Leyton Orient hold Tottenham to draw thanks to Sotiriou strike

Leyton Orient players celebrate Ruel Sotiriou's (centre) first goal for his side during the pre-seas

Leyton Orient players celebrate Ruel Sotiriou's (centre) first goal for his side during the pre-season friendly match at The Breyer Group Stadium, London. - Credit: PA

Leyton Orient dashed Nuno Espirito Santo’s hopes of a winning start as Tottenham Hotspur manager as they held the north Londoners to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. 

The game was Orient’s second straight unbeaten against Premier League opposition, following a goalless draw against West Ham last week. 

The O’s welcomed the north London side to the Breyer Group Stadium for a pre-season friendly which raised funds for the JE3 Foundation, set up in honour of Justin Edinburgh, the former Leyton Orient manager and Spurs left-back who died of a cardiac arrest in 2019. 

The home side once again named triallists Lee Hodson, Lewis Hobbs, and Josh Clarke in their squad. 

Meanwhile, Spurs’ new manager Espirito Santo named just seven senior players in his starting XI, with many first-team names missing out having recently competed in the European Championship and Copa America. 

The visitors started brightly, with youngster Nile John forcing Lawrence Vigouroux into a low save. 

Aaron Drinan almost hit the mark at the other end after a dangerous cross into the box, but could not keep his header below the bar. 

Spurs’ 17-year-old striker Dane Scarlett opened the scoring after 38 minutes, latching onto a slick through ball by Lucas Moura before sliding his shot under a helpless Vigouroux.

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Both sides had chances early in the second half, the best for O's being a Dan Kemp free-kick which forced a strong save from substitute goalkeeper Alife Whiteman. 

The two sides also made several changes – with Spurs replacing all 10 outfield players – but it was The O’s that reaped the benefits. 

Moments after coming on, Ruel Sotiriou unleashed a brilliant, curling shot to pull Orient level in the 72nd minute. 

Kemp was unable to convert a chance from outside the area, while at the other end a solo run by Jack Clarke came to nothing thanks to a last-ditch block by right-back Craig Clay. 

Orient were able to absorb some late pressure to see out the game. 

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Wood, Happe, Smyth (Clarke 68), Clay, Kemp (Young 88), Nkrumah (Tanga 77), Drinan (Sotiriou 68), Pratley, Ogie, Kyprianou (Papadopoulos 77). 

Unused subs: Phillips, Hodson, Cisse, Hobbs, Sweeney  

Tottenham Hotspur: Hart (Whiteman 45), Dier (White 65), Winks (Parrott 65), Moura (Clarke 65), Alli (Eyoma 65), Bergwijn (Fagan- Walcott 65), Carter-Vickers (Omole 65), Scarlett (Bowden 65), John (Lyons-Fost 65), Paskotsi (Mundle 65), Cesay (Devine 65).