Simpson in the goals again as Orient pick up away point
- Credit: Archant
Sky Bet League Two: Carlisle United 2 Leyton Orient 2
Leyton Orient conceded six minutes from time at Carlisle United, but still managed to extend their unbeaten run in League Two.
Kevin Nolan’s men found themselves behind at the break, but goals from Jay Simpson and substitute Ollie Palmer put them ahead.
But the Cumbrians equalised to ensure both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils at Brunton Park.
It was a decent result for the away side, who haven’t lost in three games now, and Simpson’s return to form would have delighted the 179 O’s fans in attendance.
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Nolan made two changes from the weekend win over Crawley Town with one enforced. Armand Gnanduillet, who scored twice on Saturday, missed out through injury while Sammy Moore dropped to the substitute’s bench.
Calaum Jahraldo-Martin replaced the midfielder while Jack Payne took the position of the French forward.
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It meant Simpson led the line on his own with the O’s player-manager just behind him in a 4-4-1-1 formation for the clash with the Cumbrians.
The hosts had former Orient favourite Jabo Ibehre in their starting line-up and the east Londoners got proceedings underway at Brunton Park.
Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie had an early scare when he slipped with the ball at his feet, but fortunately he was able to clear just as Simpson was racing in to pounce.
It took until the 11th minute for either side to have an effort of note and it went to Keith Curle’s men.
Luke Joyce’s cross was met by Charlie Wyke, but his header failed to trouble Alex Cisak in the away goal.
Jason Kennedy was causing the visitors problems early on and he won a free kick in the 15th minute after having an earlier shot blocked.
And it would prove to be a costly set piece to give away as Macaulay Gillesphey, on-loan from Premier League side Newcastle United, smashed into the roof of the net with 17 gone at Brunton Park.
Two minutes later things nearly got worst for the O’s as Ibehre’s header was collected by Wyke.
Carlisle’s forward took the ball into the box, but Cisak blocked well to ensure it remained 1-0.
Nolan’s men were under pressure and another Magpies loanee Alex Gilliead fired a set piece into the area, which defender Michael Raynes headed on, but Wyke could only fire wide.
He collided into the post trying to find the net and after a three-minute delay was forced off in the 25th minute.
Orient responded, though, and won the first corner of the match six minutes later when Jahraldo-Martin’s cross was deflected behind.
The first set piece was cleared for another by Hallam Hope before Carlisle managed to properly clear the second.
It was the visitors who continued to press, however, and Sean Clohessy won another corner after his cross was put behind.
Once again it was cleared by Payne’s ball back in was diverted towards goal by Shaun Brisley, but the Cumbrians goalkeeper comfortably saved.
The hosts’ failed to make the most of a good opportunity in the 37th minute when Ibehre got the ball in space, but his cross was gathered by Cisak.
Nicky Hunt went into the book three minutes later for pulling down Hope, but the resulting free kick came to nothing.
Carlisle went close on the stroke of half time, though, when Alexander McQueen crossed into the box and Kennedy’s header went just wide.
Despite two minutes of stoppage time being added on and it remained 1-0 at the break at Brunton Park.
Nolan wasn’t happy and decided to introduce Palmer and Moore during the interval for Clohessy and Payne.
They went to 4-4-2 and immediately the O’s had more urgency with Nigel Atangana firing over from range after the restart.
Simpson was released by his player-manager too, but Mark Ellis did well and poked the ball away.
But League Two’s top goalscorer was not to be denied and was back on the scoresheet in the 50th minute.
He took one touch on the edge of the box before firing across goal and into the back of the net for his 23rd of the season.
It was his first in five-games and since the win over Newport County on January 26 – over a month ago.
The 179 Orient fans in attendance were delighted and it was all the visitors now with Moore firing over after Jerome Binnom-Williams cross.
And it was Nolan’s turn next a minute before the hour mark after Jahraldo-Martin picked him, but he fired over.
But a dangerous Hope cross reminded the away side of Carlisle’s threat as his delivery fortunately evaded everyone inside the box.
It was now the Cumbrians who were pushing and Binnom-Williams was forced to put the ball out for another corner.
Orient defended it well, though, and then began to come forward themselves with Nolan failing to hit the target from the edge of the area.
Captain Mathieu Baudry then made an outstanding block to deny Ibehre and it would prove to be decisive.
The O’s broke following that tackle and Palmer was played through one-on-one and showed great composure to slot home with 18 minutes remaining.
Now the hosts were upping the ante and Cisak was tested by Joyce before Brisley deflected Steven Rigg’s cross and took the sting out of it for the Orient goalkeeper.
Opportunities continue to arise at both ends of the pitch with Simpson firing a free kick over before Baudry made another good block – this time to stop Rigg’s effort.
And then six minutes from time, the Cumbrians managed to equalise from Michael Raynes.
Gilliead delivered a wonderful cross and Raynes headed past Cisak to level it up going into the final exchanges.
The visitors pressed again following the restart with Jahraldo-Martin laying off to Atangana, but he fired over.
Binnom-Williams then did well on the left before teeing up Atangana again, his effort went wide.
Jahraldo-Martin forced Gillespie into action in the first of three minutes of stoppage time, but nobody was able to force the loose ball home.
And the full time whistle followed soon after to give O’s another point and stretch their unbeaten run to three-matches.
They remain in seventh position ahead of hosting Luton Town this weekend at Brisbane Road.
Carlisle United: Gillespie, McQueen (Asamoah 75), Ellis, Raynes, Gillesphey, Gilliead, Kennedy, Joyce, Hope, Wyke (Rigg 25), Ibehre.
Unused substitutes: Bacon, Hery, Brough, Archibald-Henville, Thompson.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Hunt, Baudry, Brisley, Binnom-Williams, Clohessy (Palmer 46), Payne (Moore 46), Atangana, Nolan, Jahraldo-Martin, Simpson.
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Shaw, Essam, Turgott, Pritchard.
Attendance: 3,721 (179 Leyton Orient supporters).