Heartache for O's as last-gasp Leeds make a point
Leyton Orient 1 Leeds United 1 AN own goal from Charlie Daniels four minutes into stoppage time saw victory ripped from Orient s gasp, as Leeds battled back to take a point at Brisbane Road on Saturday, writes Trevor Davies. In front of their biggest home
Leyton Orient 1 Leeds United 1
AN own goal from Charlie Daniels four minutes into stoppage time saw victory ripped from Orient's gasp, as Leeds battled back to take a point at Brisbane Road on Saturday, writes Trevor Davies.
In front of their biggest home gate of the season, Orient soaked up pressure for much of the game and then looked to have grabbed a winner when central defender Tamika Mkandawire netted with a stunning header seven minutes from time.
But Leeds, who had grabbed a last-minute winner when the two sides met earlier in the season, salvaged a point with a stoppage time leveller when Daniels, could only slice a Luciano Bechhio shot into his own net.
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Leeds deserved to take something from the game as they dominated for long spells. However, it was still rough justice on the O's, but at least they extended their unbeaten run to six games and they remain unbeaten in 2010..
After the match O's boss Geraint Williams said: "That's why Leeds United are at the top of the league.
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"Against the top sides you have got to go to the final whistle and clear your lines and we didn't quite manage to do that.
"But it was a quality goal from Tam, to be fair, he has been outstanding and he was again today. It was a fantastic header."
In a frenetic opening, it was Orient who started well and put the visitors under pressure, but they were unable to create a clear cut chance.
Leeds responded and almost took the lead on nine minutes when Gary McSheffrey's lob from 25 yards landed on the roof of the net.
The visitors had a great chance to break the deadlock on 15 minutes when, from a Max Gradel corner, Robert Snodgrass crossed from the right and although McSheffrey knocked the ball goalward, Mkandawire managed to clear off the line and smuggle it away from danger.
As Leeds took a vice-like grip on the game, they started to press forward and Snodgrass was the architect of another great move on 24 minutes when he sent over a dangerous cross and McSheffrey's close-range header was brilliantly tipped away by Orient's young keeper Jamie Jones.
Orient's first real effort of note came on 27 minutes when midfielder Sean Thornton fired in a shot from distance, but Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren saved comfortably.
But Leeds, who forced nine corners in the first half, continued to press and almost broke the deadlock just before the break when Bradley Johnson fired a free-kick just wide.
It was the visitors who were quick out of the traps at the start of the second half and skipper Richard Naylor fired just over the bar after the ball fell invitingly into his path off the back of Gradel.
The first substitution of the afternoon came on 54 minutes when, in a bid to get O's back into the game, manager Geraint Williams withdrew 36-year-old strike veteran Scott McGleish and threw Jonathan Tehoue into the fray.
Then, nine minutes later, Jimmy Smith replaced Thornton as O's tried to get a foothold in the match.
Shortly afterwards O's relieved the pressure when Ben Chorley found Nicky Adams with a long ball down the right, but Ankergren saved his tame shot.
Orient grabbed the lead seven minutes from time when Adams, playing his last game on loan before returning to Leicester City, crossed from the left and Mkandawire hung in the air before sending an excellent header beyond Ankergren.
Leeds pushed forward desperately and in the fourth minute of stoppage time with O's defending heroically, they couldn't get the ball out of the box and Daniels sliced Becchio's effort into his own net as the ball ran across the six yard box.
Football can be a cruel game.
Leyton Orient: Jones, Purches, Mkandawire, Chorley, Daniels, Adams, Chambers, Thornton (Smith 63), Demetriou, Jarvis, McGleish (Tehoue 54 mins). Subs: Morris, Cave-Brown, Baker, Briggs, Scowcroft.
Leeds United: Ankergren, Crow, Naylor, Bromby, Lowry; Snodgrass (White 87), Kilkenny (Howson 84 mins), Johnson, McSheffrey, Becchio, Gradel (Grella 75 mins) Subs: Martin, Doyle, Howson, Michalik, Hughes.
Referee: Roger East
Attendance 8,013 (including 2,891 Leeds fans)