Leyton Orient and Boreham Wood play out National League stalemate at Brisbane Road
- Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo
National League: Leyton Orient 0 Boreham Wood 0
Leyton Orient and Boreham Wood played out a goalless draw at Brisbane Road with both goalkeepers on top in bitterly cold and windy conditions.
Justin Edinburgh would have been fairly happy following a difficult first 45, but the O’s have now gone three National League games without a win or a goal.
The east Londoners are 19th in the table and on 32 points – now seven above the relegation zone with 29 games played.
Edinburgh made two changes to the side which held Dagenham & Redbridge to a 0-0 draw on New Years Day.
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Jobi McAnuff recovered from his recent knee injury to start while Matt Harrold came in to partner Macauley Bonne up front.
David Mooney dropped to the bench as a result and Josh Koroma wasn’t part of the match day squad with new loan signings Lamar Reynolds and Dan Holman among the substitutes.
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Youngster Dan Happe retained his starting spot with Bondz N’Gala only part of the replacements on his return from suspension.
The Brisbane Road pitch survived an 11am inspection with rain present overnight in east London and the temperatures low, but it passed and O’s got play underway.
Orient had the first chance of note when stand-in captain Jobi McAnuff curled a free kick over the wall, but only into the arms of Wood custodian Grant Smith with three minutes played.
Two minutes later and the visitors attacked from a set-piece of their own and very nearly took the lead.
Bruno Andrade took a quick free to Angelo Balanta after O’s switched off and the ex-Queens Park Rangers attacker picked out defender Alex Davey inside the area, but Orient goalkeeper Dean Brill saved from close range.
It was a brilliant save from the O’s stopper, but Edinburgh’s men quickly got back on the front foot and Alex Lawless tested Grant Smith in the eighth minute with a low drive.
The hosts continued to press and McAnuff showed his class with a fine run in the 10th minute, but he could only curl wide after beating two opponents.
Wood were looking threatening as well and won three corners inside the opening quarter of an hour at Brisbane Road.
Davey’s long throws also forced Orient into some defending with Harrold’s ability in the air proving crucial during the first 20 minutes.
Brill was called into action again seconds later when Andrade tricked his way into the area and smashed towards goal, yet O’s goalkeeper coach saved well and grabbed the loose ball.
After an even start, Wood slowly began to get on top and missed a decent chance in the 28th minute when Davey’s throw dropped for Kieran Murtagh, but he blazed over.
Less than 60 seconds later and the Hertfordshire club created an even better opening at Brisbane Road.
The excellent Andrade nipped in ahead of Happe and skilfully got past the teenager before cutting back to Murtagh, yet he fired against the crossbar and over from 10-yards.
It was all Boreham Wood now and Murtagh tried his luck again in he 31st minute, though Brill saved his 25-yarder with ease.
Orient briefly threatened soon after with James Dayton and Jake Caprice linked up nicely, but the latter could only cross into the arms of Grant Smith from a good position.
Luke Garrard’s Wood maintained their stranglehold on the match and Andrade headed over five minutes before the break following a Kane Smith cross.
The O’s were struggling to retain possession and not dealing too well with a sticky Brisbane Road surface.
Edinburgh’s side mounted a rare attack three minutes later, but Caprice’s centre was poor and although Josh Coulson kept it in, Wood cleared the danger.
Another away attack occurred on the stroke of half time when Orient’s offside trap was beaten again and Andrade got in behind the home back four.
He crossed in for Ricky Shakes and despite pressure from Coulson he diverted an effort towards goal, but Brill saved falling backwards before stopping the ball crossing the line with his backside.
The half time whistle occurred moments later and there were some boos from the home fans, but despite that Edinburgh didn’t make any changes at the break.
Orient’s head coach presumably gave his team some stern words and it had the desired effect.
The hosts began the second period with a much better intensity and forced Wood into mistakes with some good pressing.
As an attacking threat, O’s hadn’t posed many questions, but won three corners in quick succession between the 54th minute and the 57th minute.
Unfortunately Orient were unable to significantly test Grant Smith with any of the set-pieces, but the consecutive forward forays resulting in the home crowd being lifted.
Lawless picked up a booking in the 61st minute for a late tackle and it would prove to be a costly one.
It was the midfielders 10th caution of the campaign, meaning he’ll now serve a two-match ban and miss the trips to Bognor Regis Town and Halifax Town.
A great chance occurred seven minutes later when Bonne flicked the ball on and Grant Smith came to collect, but his own defender Tom Champion tried to clear.
The ball rolled for Dayton around 25-yards-out with the goal gaping, but he drilled over under pressure from Champion.
Edinburgh made his first change of the afternoon with 18 minutes left, handing new loan signing Reynolds a debut with Clay coming off.
McAnuff moved into the middle of the pitch and Reynolds was straight into the action as he saw a shot deflected over in the 74th minute.
Wood had a good opportunity of their own 60 seconds later when Andrade picked out Davey from a free kick, but the centre back headed just wide.
Another change occurred from the Orient boss in the 76th minute when Mooney replaced Harrold as the O’s looked for a late winner.
In the 82nd minute, the hosts thought they had grabbed all three points when Grant Smith took too much time on the ball and Mooney closed him down well and the Wood goalkeeper slipped, which gifted Bonne the ball and he tapped home.
But referee Samuel Allison awarded the visitors a free kick with Mooney adjudged to have brought down the away goalkeeper.
It was a let off for Wood and sparked a thrilling end to the match at Brisbane Road with both sides creating chances.
Reynolds tested Grant Smith with five minutes left, but his fierce drive was saved well before the away side nearly scored themselves.
Andrade teed up Balanta and the former QPR man curled towards the bottom corner, yet Brill brilliantly got down low to save.
In the same minute, the 86th, Orient then could have claimed the win when McAnuff found Mooney and he volleyed goallwards, but Grant Smith was there again.
The fourth official added three minutes on at the end of the 90, but they went by without any note and it ended goalless.
Orient, for the second consecutive match, had played out a stalemate, but after a poor first half, it wasn’t the worst result in the end.
Edinburgh’s men have lost only once in their last seven and will look to end their three-match winless run at Bognor Regis Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Caprice, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Dayton, Lawless, Clay (Reynolds 72), McAnuff; Harrold (Mooney 76), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, N’Gala, Holman
Boreham Wood: G.Smith; Champion, Davey, Turley; K.Smith, Ricketts, Murtagh, Woodards (Jarvis 66); Shakes; Andrade, Balanta.
Unused substitutes: Jeffers, Chesmain, Turgott, Thomas.
Attendance: 4,094 (166 Boreham Wood supporters).