Orient draw positives in stalemate
- Credit: Archant
League One: Bristol City 0 Leyton Orient 0
Orient earned a deserved share of the spoils from a goalless stalemate at Ashton Gate.
Darius Henderson had the best chances of the night for the visitors, as Russell Slade’s men held League One’s early leaders.
But the home side had their moments as well as honours finished even.
Slade made four changes to his starting line-up from Saturday’s 3-1 win at Oldham, as Elliot Omozusi, Lloyd James, Jobi McAnuff and goalscorer Kevin Lisbie all came into the side.
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City came into the match on the back of successive 2-1 wins over Sheffield United and Colchester, which had elevated them to the top of the early table.
And they made a bright start, forcing an early corner, taken by Marlon Pack, which O’s managed to clear.
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Sam Baldock forced Adam Legzdins into action in the ninth minute, with a right-footed shot that was comfortably saved.
But O’s won a corner at the other end and David Mooney saw an attempt blocked by the home defence.
The visitors put a good move together soon after, but McAnuff’s cross was comfortably claimed by City keeper Frank Fielding.
And Orient enjoyed more possession as the first half approached its midway mark, although Lisbie had to make way for Henderson due to a shoulder injury.
The 32-year-old Henderson, having netted in Orient’s first two league fixtures of the season, tested Fielding with a firm shot soon after his introduction.
Joe Bryan fired wide for the home side, before Henderson headed past the left post as O’s, with Romain Vincelot and James dovetailing well in central midfield, looked settled, as McAnuff and Dean Cox switched flanks on the half hour.
City had the ball in the net at a 38th-minute corner, but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for a foul.
Then Henderson got another sight of the home goal two minutes before the interval, showing strength to get away from Mark Little only to scuff a shot at Fieldling.
James tried his luck from long range seven mintues after the restart, with Fielding forced to concede a corner, and O’s caused the home defence problems at the subsequent set-piece before City conceded another.
The visitors then enjoyed their best chance of the night on 55 minutes when Cox crossed from deep to find Henderson, whose header forced a good low save from Fielding.
And a superb through ball from James set up a shooting chance for Henderson midway through the second half, only for a good block to deny him.
O’s had a let-off 14 minutes from time when a mix-up between Vincelot and Adam Legzdins was almost punished by the home side.
But they went very close again themselves on 86 minutes as Cox whipped in a free-kick that Henderson headed just wide.
Then James saw a deflected shot well saved by Fielding with only two minutes left on the clock, before City’s Luke Ayling sent a header just wide in the third minute of stoppage time.
Bristol City: Fielding, Ayling, Flint, Williams, Bryan (Freeman 80), Smith, Elliott, Little, Pack (El-Abd 80), Baldock, Wilbraham (Emmanuel-Thomas 90). Unused subs: Wagstaff, Richards, Cunningham, Burns.
Leyton Orient: Legzdins, Omozusi, Baudry, Clarke, Cuthbert, Cox, McAnuff (Pritchard 82), James, Vincelot, Lisbie (Henderson 23), Mooney (Simpson 89).
Unused subs: Sawyer, Lowry, Bartley, Woods.
Referee: Simon Hooper.
Attendance: 11,692 (including 334 Orient fans).