Palmer: O's lucky to have super Simpson
PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 March 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
Orient forward reflects on 2-2 draw with Carlisle, food poisoning and away supporters
Ollie Palmer was full of praise for Leyton Orient team-mate Jay Simpson after he ended his five-match run without a goal at Carlisle United on Tuesday night.
The O’s had to settle for a point at Brunton Park despite leading going into the final exchanges of the League Two encounter.
Macauley Gillesphey put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute with a fine free kick and it remained 1-0 until half time.
But Palmer was introduced at the break alongside Sammy Moore and Simpson equalised for Kevin Nolan’s side five minutes later.
And then Palmer scored his fifth league goal of the campaign to put the visitors ahead, but Michael Raynes headed past Alex Cisak with six minutes left to give Carlisle a share of the spoils.
Orient would have been happy to see Simpson get back in the goals again, though, after going over a month without finding the net.
“Me and Jay have worked well all season,” said Palmer. “He is obviously a fantastic player and has scored a lot this year. We are lucky to have him in our team and he is always going to pose a threat.
“Jay is always going to pop up with goals and win you games, so I enjoy playing with him, he’s a great player.”
With Armand Gnanduillet out due to injury, Nolan decided to keep Palmer on the bench and go with a 4-1-4-1 formation at Brunton Park, but it didn’t work.
Orient’s first-half performance wasn’t up to their usual standards and Jack Payne and Sean Clohessy made way at the break.
Palmer was pleased to make an impression and felt they were unlucky not to get all three points.
“I always want to make an impact and show the gaffer what I’m capable of,” he added.
“Sammy came on as well and was good, he played the ball which put me through on goal.
“I think in the second half everyone stepped it up. The boys put in a much better shift and we were unfortunate not to take all three points home.”
The performance of the former Mansfield Town forward was all the more impressive considering he had been ill prior to the game.
Palmer revealed after the match that he had suffered with food poisoning the night before.
But after resting up, the 24-year-old managed to recover enough to start on the bench and then make a telling contribution.
“I think I got food poisoning on Monday, I was up all night being sick,” added Palmer.
“Mathieu Baudry had to leave my room. I just had to get in a lot of sleep during Tuesday to try and rest up and get as fit as I could for the match.”
Fortunately Nolan afforded him that and the performance of the forward was another timely reminder of the options available to the Orient player-manager.
Palmer struggled for form earlier in the campaign, but his display would have delighted the 179 away fans in attendance at Brunton Park.
He praised the effort of the O’s supporters, adding: “It was a very long journey and they probably didn’t get in until 4, 5 or even 6am.
“Thank you to all them that came and supported us. They were brilliant and we really appreciate that.”