Gavin Massey strikes late for Leyton Orient at Yeovil Town to give Danny Webb his first point as O’s manager
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Yeovil Town 1 Leyton Orient 1
Gavin Massey’s sixth goal of the season helped Leyton Orient pick up their first League Two point of 2017 after drawing 1-1 at Yeovil Town.
Danny Webb had to wait until the 88th minute to see his O’s level at Huish Park and in the process claim his first positive result as manager.
Orient remain in the bottom two and are now three points from safety, but they have stopped their run of six consecutive defeats.
Webb will now hope his first win in charge of the O’s is not too far away with a trip to Plymouth Argyle up next on Tuesday.
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The east Londoners manager was able to hand Liam Kelly his first start since October 8 after recovering fully following surgery on a torn hamstring.
It was a major boost for Orient and the ex-Oldham Athletic midfielder captained the O’s a day after his 27th birthday.
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The only other change by Webb to the team which started the 1-0 loss to Morecambe on Tuesday night was to recall Rowan Liburd.
Victor Adeboyejo missed out altogether while Sam Dalby had to settle for a place on the bench at Huish Park.
Sammy Moore was also absent, unavailable due to illness, meaning Freddy Moncur was among the replacements.
The Glovers got the match underway with Orient lining up in a 4-3-3 formation and they started strongly at Huish Park.
Michael Collins broke really well and ran at the Yeovil defence before finding Nigel Atangana on the edge of the area.
The French midfielder cut inside and fired towards goal, but Artur Krysiak was equal to the effort and pushed it wide.
Sandro Semedo’s corner caused some brief panic in the home defence and the ball was put behind for another set-piece.
It was eventually cleared by Yeovil, but like last weekend and on Tuesday night, O’s had begun on the front foot.
Although the hosts enjoyed a sustained spell of possession after, Orient created the next opportunity in the 12th minute.
Kelly won the ball back in the middle of the pitch and found Liburd, who burst past Nathan Smith, but his shot was scuffed well off target.
Yeovil won their first corner of the match in the 10 minutes later when Alex Lawless’ cross was put behind by Yvan Erichot.
Sam Sargeant impressively claimed the cross, however, and tried to get Orient on the attack by throwing to Massey.
The O’s winger nearly judged the bounce perfectly, but Yeovil’s Liam Shephard won the ball back and crossed into the away area.
Ben Whitfield eventually got the ball under control and saw an effort deflected wide to give the hosts another corner.
Orient again defended this one well and the ball broke perfectly for Semedo, who had Massey unmarked to his left.
If the Portuguese winger had passed to his team-mate, O’s number 11 would have been clear through.
But Semedo elected to go alone and saw his shot blocked and the promising change was wasted and it remained goalless.
A few minutes later and Orient created another opportunity when Nicky Hunt crossed into the area, but Liburd flicked off target.
With half an hour played, O’s and Webb could be happy with how things had gone, but they nearly shot themselves in the foot.
Yeovil kept possession well and Whitfield was picked out in a good position around 25-yards-out.
The Glovers midfielder played Liam Shephard in on goal, after Semedo hadn’t tracked his run, but he fired into the side netting.
It was a let off for Orient, although it failed to knock their spirit and they won another corner nine minutes before the break.
Semedo’s delivery was cleared and Kelly tried his luck from range, but Krysiak was able to save with relative ease.
Three minutes later and the visitors went close again after some neat football with Massey involved again.
He passed out to Semedo and his teasing cross forced Krysiak to come off his line and punch clear.
Yeovil’s goalkeeper only just beat Liburd to the cross and both collided, but Atangana could only volley over.
The two players needed treatment afterwards with Krysiak looking unlikely to carry on, but eventually he was fine to resume.
And the fourth official then signalled for four minutes of additional time at the end of the half at Huish Park.
Just as the announcement was made, Yeovil took the lead despite Sargeant making an excellent save in the build up to the goal.
Tom Eaves let fly from outside the area and his shot took a deflected, but O’s young goalkeeper got down well to push away from goal.
Unfortunately Francois Zoko was first to the rebound and fired home to give the hosts a 45th minute lead.
It was harsh on Orient, although yet again they were punished after switching off at the back and it remained 1-0 at the break.
Webb reacted by taking off Erichot, who had been partly at fault for the opener, with Callum Kennedy going to left-back and Hunt moving into the centre of defence.
After a slow start to the second half, the Orient boss didn’t wait long to make another change with McCallum coming on for the ineffective Liburd.
The first real effort of note after the break occurred when Eaves brought the ball down and fired just wide in the 59th minute.
Despite the changes it was Yeovil who looked the more threatening with Smith firing just wide following a corner.
Orient’s final substitute occurred in the 64th minute with Josh Koroma coming on for Atangana and O’s switching to a 4-4-2.
Webb’s side immediately got on the front foot with Kennedy having a cross cleared out to Collins.
He passed into Koroma’s path and laid off for Kelly, but his low effort was straight at Yeovil custodian Krysiak.
It was an encouraging moment for the visitors and they created another decent chance in the 72nd minute.
Massey was played in down the right and crossed into the area. McCallum let the ball roll to Koroma, but he could only slice off target.
Referee Darren Deadman then made himself the centre of attention minutes later by handing out a ridiculous booking to Kelly.
Eaves tackled the Orient captain fairly and then bizarrely stood over the midfielder as he was on the ground.
Kelly stood up with the Yeovil forward on top of him, which forced Eaves to fall to the ground.
And yet referee Deadman decided to give Kelly a yellow card and the Glovers a free kick much to the delight of the home supporters.
Orient continued to push forward and were doing their utmost to get back into the game, but Yeovil were defending strongly.
Webb’s side continued to search for an equaliser and two minutes from time it finally arrived at Huish Park.
Koroma delivered an excellent deep cross to the back post, which McCallum nodded across the Yeovil goal.
Kelly ran in, although couldn’t get a significant touch, but Massey could and fired into the roof of the net.
It was the Orient wingers sixth goal of the campaign and psychologically it could be the east Londoners most important.
Four minutes of additional time were added on at the end of the 90 and O’s were now pushing for a winner.
Academy duo Koroma and Myles Judd linked up nicely on the right, but the latters cross was slightly over hit.
Kennedy picked up the loose ball and crossed in for McCallum, but he could only head just off target.
Orient continued to push and push, although in the end they had to settle for just a point, but it was their first of 2017.
It was another positive step in the right direction under Webb, yet O’s remain in the relegation zone and three points from safety.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Ward, Smith, Dickson (Mugabi 79); Whitfield, Lawless, Dolan; Akpa Akpro (Harrison 71), Eaves, Zoko (Sowunmi 89).
Unused substitutes: Maddison, Butcher, Goodship, James, Harrison.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant; Judd, Erichot (Kennedy 46), Parkes, Hunt; Kelly, Atangana, Collins; Massey, Liburd (McCallum 54), Semedo.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Mezague, Moncur, Koroma, Dalby.
Attendance: 3,120 (151 Leyton Orient supporters).