Orient throw it away again!
Walsall 2 Leyton Orient 2 ORIENT S hopes of recording their third away win of the season disappeared after they let a two-goal lead slip at Walsall on Saturday. Ryan Jarvis gave the visitors the perfect start after two minutes and when Tamika Mkandawire a
Walsall 2 Leyton Orient 2
ORIENT'S hopes of recording their third away win of the season disappeared after they let a two-goal lead slip at Walsall on Saturday.
Ryan Jarvis gave the visitors the perfect start after two minutes and when Tamika Mkandawire added a second just before the half-hour mark, O's looked to be cruising to victory.
But Walsall hit back and Troy Deeney cut the deficit just 13 seconds into the second half and before the hour he had levelled things up.
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After watching his team surrender a lead for the second match running, Orient manager Geraint Williams was frustrated that his side came away with just a single point.
"It was a game of two halves and it's becoming a worn clich� with us right now," he said afterwards.
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"At half time we stressed the fact that we wanted to keep on the front foot and for the players to go out and play as if it was 0-0 and not just defend the lead.
"But for some reason, we can't physically put that mental idea into practice. It didn't help conceding that early at the start of the second half.
"We've picked up a hard-earned point away from home, but the lads are disappointed because it feels as though we have lost the game. We all know we should have come away with three points and we're disappointed we haven't."
Williams made three changes to the side that had lost to the MK Dons, as Mkandawire came back into the side following a one-game ban, replacing Luke Ashworth.
While full-back Andrew Cave-Brown made a rare start at right back and skipper Stephen Purches switched to the left in place of the injured Charlie Daniels, who was ruled out with a back injury.
There was also a recall for JJ Melligan, wide on the right, as Jimmy Smith dropped to the bench.
Williams, who had employed a 4-5-1 formation for the two previous away games, reverted to a tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation and could not have wished for a better start.
The game was less than two minutes old when Andros Townsend sent Scott McGleish away down the left.
His shot from 20 yards was parried by goalkeeper Clayton Ince and Jarvis fired home the rebound from close range.
The O's looked comfortable and on 29 minutes they stretched their advantage with a second. Skipper Purches set up the move as he found space down the left and cut the ball back for McGleish. The striker swept a low cross into the danger area and Mkandawire was on hand to fire the ball home.
Townsend then saw a shot defelected over as Orient bossed the opening period.
However, the complexion of the game changed immediately at the start of the second half. Within 12 seconds former O's loanee Peter Till crossed from the right and Deeney nodded home at the far post.
The hard-working McGleish should have restored Orient's two-goal cushion after Melligan knocked Townsend's cross into the danger area and it proved to be an expensive miss, as 12 minutes into the second half, the visitors' two-goal interval lead had evaporated.
Till and Deeney combined and although the danger was half-cleared, Deeney's shot took a wicked deflection and ended up in the net.
Given their defensive frailties at times this season, Orient looked in danger of collapsing and Darren Byfield headed a good chance inches wide of the target.
But O's weathered the storm and almost edged their way in front when McGleish crossed from the left and found Jarvis, who put the ball over from close range.
With the points up for grabs, Walsall also wasted a glorious chance late on when Byfield beat the offside trap, but failed to get enough height on his lob and Jones made a comfortable save.
At the other end McGleish forced a smart save from Ince after Townsend knocked the ball forward.
But honours ended even and O's had to settle for a point from a game they should have won.