Bright and breezy O's can't force win
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Leyton Orient 0 Orient kept their first clean sheet in 15 games to earn a valuable point against fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day. The home side had Andrew Crofts sent off 20 minutes from time when he picked
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Leyton Orient 0
Orient kept their first clean sheet in 15 games to earn a valuable point against fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day.
The home side had Andrew Crofts sent off 20 minutes from time when he picked up a second yellow card for a foul on O's substitute Jason Demetriou, but the visitors could not cash in, despite enjoying the majority of possession.
In a tense struggle, Orient had the better chances and came closest to breaking the deadlock when JJ Melligan hit a post in the second half and after the game Orient boss Geraint Williams believed his side should have taken all three points.
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"I'm not satisfied with a point," he said. "Even if they had finished with 11, I'd still have been disappointed with a draw.
"We started very brightly and had a couple of long range efforts saved and then we started very well again at the start of the second half.
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"I thought we created the best chances of a game of few chances and we should have come away with all three points, especially against 10 men.
"Scott McGleish had a one-on-one when he got injured, there's the one that hit the post. When your luck's in, that goes to one of your players to tap in."
Once consolation for Williams was his side's rare clean sheet and he explained: "We have been working hard on the training ground, not just for the back five, but for the unit and I think we looked as complete as we've been defensively.
"We were comfortable at the back and they are good strikers that we've come up against. It's a good clean sheet, but still a little frustrating because we haven't got the ball in their net, even if we've kept it out at our end."
In a game where genuine chances were few and far between, O's started well and Melligan fired in a shot from distance after just two minutes that Albion keeper Peter Brezovan turned behind for a corner.
McGleish has a header saved and back-in-the-side Adam Chambers fired a shot from 25 yards just wide.
As Brighton responded, Jamie Jones saved well from Seagulls striker Nicky Forster and then denied Liam Dickinson.
After the break Adrian Patulea chested the ball into the path of McGleish, but Brezovan saved at his feet and after colliding with the keeper the O's striker left the field injured and was replaced by Loick Pires.
Demetriou replaced Patulea as Williams opted for a five-man midfield and as O's gained the upper hand Townsend fired wide, before Melligan hit the woodwork with an inswinging cross from the right.
After Crofts saw red, O's continued to press and Thornton went close, but O's could not make their possession count.
Orient: Jones, Purches, Chorley, Mkandawire, Daniels, Melligan (Baker 90 mins), Chambers, Thornton, Townsend, McGleish (Pires 55 mins), Patulea (Demetriou 63 mins). Subs: Morris, Ashworth, Cave-Brown, Smith.
Attendance: 6,690 (inc 327 Orient fans).