O’s boss draws on positives

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Dave Simpson/TGS Photo).

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic: Dave Simpson/TGS Photo). - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

Brisbane Road manager reflects on 1-1 with Cambridge, Dean Cox’s fitness and Jack Payne’s debut

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon admitted his side could have picked up all three points at the Abbey Stadium against Cambridge United, but was happy Jay Simpson popped up to score and keep the east Londoners top of the League Two table.

A goal by half time home substitute Jacob Blyth put the U’s in front after the visitors had been the more dominant in the opening 45.

But Simpson, with his fifth strike of the campaign, levelled after collecting Mathieu Baudry’s intelligent pass to earn the O’s a draw.

They probably did deserve to leave Cambridge with a win, but the Brisbane Road outfit had to settle for a point after an inspired display by home goalkeeper Chris Dunn.

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Hendon said: “I think we should have won that. I have just seen some of the shots we had on target in the first half.

“I don’t think their goalkeeper is going to have a day like he had today for a very long time. The save from Connor Essam’s header was fantastic and he has had a good game.

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“It was a great ball by Matty in over the top, down the side for the equaliser, which is what we said we needed to do.

“We felt we could expose them there and Jay gets onto the ball and he always makes the keeper at least make a save and it was a good finish.”

Jack Payne made his Orient debut at the Abbey Stadium and looked composed during his 90 minutes after joining on-loan from Peterborough United recently.

He came in to replace Dean Cox, who was among the substitutes, and Hendon revealed why the diminutive missed out against Cambridge after starting the opening five league games of the season and having a huge impact.

“Dean has hardly trained at all this week and it is probably more of a fatigue thing with him,” added the O’s head coach.

“He was on the bench today, but it was only going to be an emergency if we needed him and we were thinking about bringing him on, but we literally scored so we changed our minds.

“Jack did very well. He just settled in. He is good on the football and bossed the midfield for the first half, I thought all of our midfield players were fantastic. It was a good performance by him on his debut.”

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