No Christmas cheer for O’s as they draw at home to Yeovil
- Credit: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.
Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Yeovil Town 1
Leyton Orient had Jobi McAnuff to thank for producing a strike of the highest quality to help them draw at home with Yeovil Town.
The Glovers, who have been battling relegation all season, seemed like taking all three points at Brisbane Road after taking the lead on the stroke of half time.
As the second half wore on the O’s looked void of ideas and the home fans voiced their concerns on numerous occasions.
But McAnuff popped up to rescue a point for Ian Hendon’s men, but it was a poor result and sees them drop to seventh in League Two.
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19-year-old Scott Kashket was handed a first league start for Orient as he partnered Jay Simpson up front against the Glovers.
The O’s were without Sean Clohessy and John Marquis due to injuries and lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.
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Cole Kpekawa and Blair Turgott returned to the side after missing out against Scunthorpe United, although the latter come on off the bench during that game.
It appeared Orient lined up with captain Mathieu Baudry at right-back and Kpekawa and Jean-Yves M’voto at the centre of defence.
Turgott was on the right with Jack Payne and Lloyd James in the middle. Bradley Pritchard was tucking in slightly on the left.
It was a much-changed side compared to normal with youngsters Freddy Moncur and Victor Adeboyejo among the replacements alongside Ollie Palmer and McAnuff– dropped after Tuesday’s defeat at the Iron.
The Glovers had Francois Zoko playing, he signed a short-term deal with Yeovil last month after failing to earn a contract at Orient during the summer when he was on trial at the club.
Zoko scored twice last weekend to earn his side a point and has history of scoring against the O’s before so they would have been wary of his threat.
Yeovil got the encounter underway and immediately attacked from the kick-off, but Baudry was able to clear a dangerous ball into the box.
Minutes later and Kashket was involved, chasing down Shaw’s forward pass, but he was unable to get the ball towards goal.
With four minutes played a lack of communication at the back almost provided the visitors with a chance.
A long ball over the top seemed to be coming for M’voto, but Alex Cisak came racing out and smashed into the defender.
Fortunately the ball went out for a throw and the French ace was able to continue after receiving some treatment.
The mood inside the stadium was one of caution with Orient looking more nervous than normal and struggling to pick out players when the ball was in defence.
Ryan Dickson tested Cisak with 10 minutes gone with a free kick before Hendon’s men started moving the ball better.
One move saw the ball come to Pritchard and he had Shaw to his left in space, but the Zimbabwean took too long to find the full back and eventually it came back to Payne who fired well over.
Another mistake occurred with quarter of an hour played when Shaw’s header back to Kpekawa put the QPR man in trouble as Zoko almost nipped in, but fortunately the O’s were able to sort it out.
Two free kicks by James five minutes later offered Orient the chance to settle their nerves and although both failed to create anything meaningful, it helped the east Londoners get into their stride.
They began knocking the ball around with greater authority afterwards with Payne and James becoming more influential.
Yeovil did hit back and create a decent opportunity in the 25th minute when Dickson crossed into the box for Iffy Allen, but he smashed over the crossbar.
It was very scrappy at Brisbane Road with quality rarely on show from either team, although Kashket was looking bright up front.
League Two’s top goalscorer Simpson had hardly had a kick with half an hour played, but James made his presence felt with three crunching tackles in the space of a minute.
Unsurprisingly it was the former Wales under-21 international who created the first real opportunity of the match for the hosts.
James’ ball into the box found Kashket, but after getting the ball down he tried to find a team mate at the back post instead of shooting and his volleyed pass went out for a goal kick.
Eight minutes before half time the Glovers had the ball in the back of the net through Darren Ward.
But it was disallowed after Zoko handled in the build up before forcing Cisak to make a brilliant save.
That gave the visitors confidence and a minute later a smart run by Allen resulted in the ball coming back to Josh Sheehan, but he fired over.
In the 41st minute Orient won their first corner of the afternoon when Kpekawa’s long ball came to Simpson and his shot was blocked.
Turgott picked up the loose ball and his effort was deflected wide, but the corner from James was cleared and it stayed goalless.
A brief stoppage in play occurred moments later as Payne received treatment after a collision and a stretcher was need to take the midfielder off the pitch.
He left to a standing ovation as two minutes of stoppage time was added on at Brisbane Road.
Unfortunately for Orient things were to get worst as Shaw was disposed by Allen inside his own half.
Allen’s ball into the box was cleared and the resulting cross into the penalty area was sliced by M’voto and Zoko headed past Cisak.
Boos rung out at Brisbane Road and even chants of ‘Hendon out’ could be heard as supporters voiced their frustration after a poor half of football.
Ollie Palmer was finally introduced after the goal to replace Payne, but the half time whistle shortly followed.
It had been a poor first 45 and with Payne going off and Yeovil scoring – a horror end to proceedings in E10.
Orient got the second period underway and after 10 minutes Hendon decided to introduce McAnuff for Kashket.
The first substitute of the afternoon nearly made an opportunity in the 59th minute, but Palmer dallied when he had the chance to shoot and the opportunity was wasted.
With an hour played the hosts hadn’t tested away custodian Chris Weale once and frustration was growing on and off the pitch.
Four minutes later and Simpson tried to change that as he worked some space, but his effort from 25-yards-out sailed way over.
In the 69th minute another opportunity was created for Simpson, this time just outside the area, but he could only cure straight at Weale.
The home supporters voiced their unhappiness again afterwards by getting out their mobile phone lights and chanting ‘we’re bored, we’re bored’.
After that more chants of ‘Hendon out!’ could be heard as the fans inside Brisbane Road became more and more frustrated.
On the pitch little was happening to ensure they could get off their seats until a bit of magic was finally produced.
McAnuff picked up a loose ball around 30-yards-out and smashed into the top corner giving Weale absolutely no chance.
It was a strike of pure quality and now Orient had life as Baudry’s cross into the box was just headed wide by Simpson.
A minute later and McAnuff dribbled past two Yeovil players before his centre was deflected behind for a corner.
From that set piece the ball was cleared all the way back to Shaw, who was running towards his own goal.
The young defender tried to head back to Cisak, under pressure from Allen, but got it wrong and the third slide into each other in the box.
Fortunately Allen couldn’t get onto the ball, but Shaun Jeffers did – fortunately for the O’s he smashed into the side netting.
Moments later and McAnuff was involved again, this time letting fly from 25-yards-out and seeing his effort curl just wide of the post.
Adeboyejo was introduced with five minutes remaining, but Orient were getting frustrated with referee Lee Swabey for constantly giving fouls against Palmer.
The seconds were ticking away at Brisbane Road when Adeboyejo, out on the right, won a corner for his side.
It was knocked down by Palmer and came agonisingly close to Simpson before rolling through to Weale.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on and in the first of that McAnuff’s cross found Prithcard, but his effort was saved.
The ball came out to Palmer and he volleyed towards goal, but Darren Ward made a fantastic block.
It was end-to-end now as Yeovil substitute Ryan Bird scuffed an effort wide of the post with both teams desperate for a winner.
Unfortunately none was forthcoming for Orient and when the full time whistle followed some boos and chants of ‘Hendon out!’ could be heard again.
It is another game unbeaten for the O’s, but they would have expected to beat the Glovers at home and this result does little for confidence going into a key period over Christmas.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Baudry, M’voto, Kpekawa, Shaw, Turgott (Adeboyejo 85), Payne (Palmer 45), James, Pritchard, Kashket (McAnuff 55), Simpson.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Essam, Dunne, Moncur.
Yeovil Town: Weale, Smith, Dolan, Sokolik, Jeffers, Dickson, Allen (Bird 77), Roberts, Ward, Sheehan (Tozer 77), Zoko (Lacey 90).
Unused substitutes: Krysiak, Compton, Beck, Maghoma.
Attendance: 4,686 (280 Yeovil Town supporters).