Mixed emotions for Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler after 2-2 draw at Carlisle United

Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler looks on (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler looks on (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Archant

O’s manager discusses draw at Brunton Park, his relationship with Keith Curle and overall feeling after taking four points from Morecambe and Carlisle

Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler was slightly frustrated not to come away from Carlisle United with all three points in League Two.

The O’s were winning 2-1 heading into the final five minutes after wonderful finishes from Paul McCallum and Harry Cornick.

But referee Ben Toner handed the Cumbrians a penalty in the 86th minute when Liam Kelly handled Reggie Lambe’s cross.

Although it looked harsh at first, the ball did hit the hand of the O’s vice-captain even if he was in close proximity of the Carlisle substitute.

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Danny Grainger stepped up and beat Alex Cisak and it ensured it finish all square at Brunton Park after Charlie Wyke scored inside the first minute of the second half.

“I’m a bit frustrated, there is a tinge of that because with five minutes to go we are winning the game 2-1,” said Hessenthaler.

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“Unfortunately they get a penalty and it is a difficult one because Kelly is sliding and unless he slides like a pencil, it probably doesn’t touch his hand, but I don’t think he can do that.

“It is natural thing, you do slide like that so the referee has given it and it is unfortunate we haven’t held out for the three points in the end, but we probably would have taken a point and four from two away trips to Carlisle and Morecambe so that’s very positive.”

The two teams cancelled each other out in the first half initially before Keith Curle’s men began to get on top.

But Orient grew into the contest and dominated the last 10 minutes of the first 45 and went ahead through McCallum.

Unfortunately after doing so well to take the lead just before half time, they conceded inside 60 seconds after the break as Wyke headed in Shaun Miller’s cross.

Hessenthaler added: “This is a tough place to come, it is a long journey, they’re unbeaten and the only team in the division still unbeaten.

“We went to Morecambe last week and beat top of the table and came to Carlisle and nearly won. They are a good side.

“First half they played with three centre halves and moved the ball around really well. For all of that, they only had one good chance and hit the post and their main threat was from throw ins.

“It was difficult to defend their set plays, but I didn’t think they really hurt us in open play and we had our own opportunities and obviously it was a fantastic goal.

“Going back to the goal conceded, like Morecambe, we can’t have the same conversion at half time. We can’t say make sure we start the second right and then within 28 seconds we give a poor goal away. That is the frustration because if we could have stopped that, we might have won the game today.”

After battling on the touchline in the past, Hessenthaler and Curle were relatively relaxed this afternoon.

The pair came to blows at Brisbane Road last season, but it was calm between the duo at Brunton Park.

“Me and Keith have known each other a long time and had battles on the pitch and off last year,” said Hessenthaler before joking about their clash in September 2015.

“He is too big anyway, I tried my luck last season and will never do it again given the size of him! Listen we’re both passionate guys. He called me a Rottweiler in his programme notes and he’s probably about right. I want to win and he wants to win, but he’s a good guy and he has a very good team here.”

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