Orient held at home by Dons after Marquis red
17:04 28 November 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 AFC Wimbledon 1
Leyton Orient picked up a point at home to AFC Wimbledon after playing half an hour with 10 men at Brisbane Road against the south Londoners.
Jay Simpson put Ian Hendon’s side ahead at the break, but a red card to John Marquis after the interval gave the O’s an uphill battle.
Eventually the Dons would get back on level terms as Adebayo Akinfenwa equalised 10 minutes from time.
That was how it finished and the draw means the east Londoners drop out of the play-off positions – they sit eighth in the League Two table.
Hendon was able to name an unchanged side from the one that earned a 1-1 draw at Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.
The O’s had been sweating on the fitness of top goalscorer Simpson, but he was passed fit and captain Mathieu Baudry returned too.
He had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench, though, with Jean-Yves M’voto and Cole Kpekawa starting at the heart of the Orient defence.
Sammy Moore was up against his old club while Marquis faced two former Millwall team mates in Paul Robinson and Karleigh Osborne.
Akinfenwa started for Wimbledon, he had a short spell in E10 back in 2003, while Jobi McAnuff, on the bench for the east Londoners again, began his career at the original Dons.
Orient got proceedings underway at Brisbane Road, but the first chance of the match didn’t occur until the seventh minute.
Captain for the day Sean Clohessy and Bradley Pritchard linked up nicely before the latter crossed into the area. Simpson won it, but it went harmless over the crossbar.
Two minutes later and the division’s leading marksmen was given another chance and this time he took it.
Marquis picked up the ball in midfield, drove at the Dons defence and passed into Simpson.
Orient’s top goalscorer took a touch and although Wimbledon goalkeeper Ben Wilson got a hand to it, the ball nestled into the bottom corner.
Referee Darren Handley began to get too involved afterwards and booked M’voto, Marquis and Wimbledon’s Dannie Bulman in quick succession.
The game slowed down after those cautions and the next chance of note occurred just before the half an hour.
George Francomb picked up the ball in space and let fly from range, but Kpekawa blocked well.
Minutes later and the Dons nearly created another opportunity, but Orient defended well and managed to clear the danger.
Wimbledon were slowly growing into the contest and Alex Cisak was forced to punch away a dangerous Francomb free kick as the visitors pushed for an equaliser.
The O’s were awarded a couple of set pieces in decent positions afterwards and one of Moore’s efforts was only half cleared to Pritchard, but he got his effort completely wrong and the chance went.
It was an incredibly even match at Brisbane Road with not much separating the two sides heading into half time.
A minimum of three minutes were added on at the end of the first period, but Hendon’s men continue to defend well and came in ahead at the break.
The visitors started the second half and won a free kick almost immediately outside the Orient box, but Francomb curled the set piece over.
Akinfenwa headed over a Jon Meades cross in the 49th minute as the away team continued to look threatening.
Francomb fired over the crossbar again five minutes later after getting into the box as the Dons looked for an equaliser.
Hendon reacted by introducing Baudry for Ollie Palmer, but two minutes after that substitution the O’s were reduced to 10 men.
Marquis and Robinson both went for a 50/50 bouncing ball and the Wimbledon man just got their first.
It wasn’t the worst foul in the world, but referee Handley decided it warranted giving the Millwall loanee a second yellow card.
Clohessy made a vital tackle on Sean Rigg with 66 minutes played, just as the Dons midfielder seemed like letting fly from inside the area.
Cries of ‘come on Orient’ were then ringing out inside Brisbane Road with the home supporters trying to urge their side on.
Hendon’s men were dropping deep, though, and struggling to keep the ball with 20 minutes remaining in east London.
Former O’s loanee Adebayo Azeez was introduced shortly afterwards with the Dons increasing the pressure on the home goal.
The hosts responded by bringing Blair Turgott on for Simpson with 15 minutes remaining, but the visitors carried on getting forward.
Kpekawa made a wonderful clearance to deny Lyle Taylor a sight on goal after Akinfenwa’s intelligent knock down before Cisak produced a wonderful save.
Fuller crossed into the box and Meades bullet header seemed destined for the net, but the Orient number one tipped over the crossbar brilliantly.
Unfortunately with 10 minutes remaining all the pressure from the away side finally counted as they finally found an equaliser.
Azeez got in space down the right and his cross to the back post was headed in by Akinfenwa to level it up.
The Dons were pushing forward for a winner now and Baudry nearly put through his own net before Osborne headed over the crossbar.
But the O’s were afforded a moment to breath when Cisak was caught late from a cross and needed some treatment.
Once play resumed the fourth official confirmed five minutes of stoppage time would be added on at Brisbane Road.
Although clearly tired after playing over half an hour with 10 men, Orient restricted Wimbledon to long range shots during time added on.
The seconds ticked away and Cisak picked up a booking for time wasting, but the east Londoners didn’t care.
Lloyd James was introduced too by Hendon and referee Handley blew his full time whistle moments later, which was met by boos.
They were for the man in black after a poor performance in the middle while the point for the O’s sees them drop out of the play-off places.
Next up for Orient is another home match, but this time in the FA Cup as Scunthorpe and former players Stephen Dawson and Darius Henderson visit.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Clohessy, M’voto, Kpekawa, Shaw, Payne, Pritchard, Moore (James 90), Marquis, Palmer (Baudry 56), Simpson (Turgott 75).
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Dunne, McAnuff, Kashket.
AFC Wimbledon: Wilson, Fuller, Robinson, Osborne, Meades, Francomb, Bulman (Elliot 81), Reeves, Rigg (Azeez 71), Akinfenwa, Taylor.
Unused substitutes: McDonnell, Kennedy, Sweeney, Kaja, Toonga.
Attendance: 6,024 (1.274 AFC Wimbledon supporters).