O’s make a point with sweat and blood
Leyton Orient 2 Southampton 2 ORIENT gave sweat and blood on Saturday, but it was not quite enough to earn them three points against in-form Southampton, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Tamika Mkandawire put Orient ahead on 68 seconds, but suffered a clash of heads
Leyton Orient 2
ORIENT gave sweat and blood on Saturday, but it was not quite enough to earn them three points against in-form Southampton, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
Tamika Mkandawire put Orient ahead on 68 seconds, but suffered a clash of heads with Neal Trotman in the process.
It marked the end of his afternoon's work but brave O's regrouped and produced a fully-committed performance.
They even stretched their advantage in the second half when Trotman saw a cross from Andros Townsend cannon off his chest and into the net.
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But Southampton came storming back and two goals from �1m striker Rickie Lambert in the final 16 minutes earned the Saints a point.
After the game, O's boss Geraint Williams praised his troops and said: "I thought the players were magnificent from the first whistle to the last. When you look at the resources Southampton have got on the pitch and the budget off it, these matches are a fantastic challenge for us.
"The one thing about these players is that they'll give anything for that shirt and they certainly did that today - you can't fault anyone for the effort we put in.
"We defended really well from the front to the back. Everyone did their jobs. Last week we lost our shape, but we didn't do that today.
"We're obviously disappointed to lose a two-goal lead. But if you look at the 90 minutes, you'd probably have to say it was a fair result."
Williams believed his side could have been awarded free-kicks in the build up to both Southampton goals.
"There were two very big decisions there for the referee," he said. "I thought the first one was definitely a free-kick to us and the other one was contentious too.
"They've ended up with the ball in our net both times, but they were two excellent finishes by a million-pound striker."
O's could not have wished for a better start when JJ Melligan whipped in the perfect cross from the right for Mkandawire to head home, but the goal came at a price and Luke Ashworth replaced the the central defender, who needed six stitches in a cut around the eye.
Ben Chorley could have added a second on 32 minutes but his close-range volley hit the ground and went over the bar.