Scott helps O’s to make a point

Orient 1 Brighton 1 STRIKER Scott McGleish grabbed his 11th goal of the season and helped spare the blushes of home keeper Jamie Jones, as the O s stretched their unbeaten run to five games at Brisbane Road on Saturday, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Relegation-h

Orient 1 Brighton 1

STRIKER Scott McGleish grabbed his 11th goal of the season and helped spare the blushes of home keeper Jamie Jones, as the O's stretched their unbeaten run to five games at Brisbane Road on Saturday, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Relegation-haunted Brighton & Hove Albion had taken a 10th-minute lead when the O's keeper made an awful mess of a back pass from Adam Chambers and miskicked straight to visiting striker Glenn Murray, who stroked the ball into an empty net.

But McGleish earned the O's a vital point when he levelled eight minutes into the second half, blasting the ball home after Sean Thornton's free kick had been blocked by Adam Virgo.

In an entertaining game, the O's started well, but once Murray fired the visitors ahead, they had the chances to wrap things up before half time.

Tommy Elphick should have done better when he scuffed a shot from close range and McGleish, back helping his defence, almost scored an own goal, as he sent a header bouncing on to his own bar.

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Murray had another effort ruled out for a tight offside decision following a cross from the dangerous Liam Dickinson, but perhaps the pivotal moment arrived on 35 minutes when O's defender Ben Chorley pushed Dickinson in the area.

Had referee Steve Cook seen the incident, Chorley, who had a torrid first half, may well have seen red and Brighton boss Gus Poyet was so incensed that he was sent to the stand after verbal volley at the official.

O's had their moments too. Stephen Purches missed a good chance to add to his strike against Bristol Rovers after Ryan Jarvis and McGleish provided the opening.

But the skipper couldn't find a finish as O's missed the chance to instantly respond to Murray's opener and then McGleish went close before the interval.

The incident-filled game took a further turn at half time with a marriage proposal on the pitch and when it was duly accepted a spontaneous chant of 'you don't know what your doing' echoed around the ground.

That could well have applied to Geraint Williams' side's first half showing, but the O's improved after the break and they were soon level.

This time it was Brighton keeper Michel Kuipers who suffered following a back pass. He slipped when trying to control the ball and knocked it away with his hand, before bringing down Jarvis.

O's appealed for a penalty, but the under-fire official awarded an indirect free-kick against Kuipers for handling a back pass.

After a four-minute delay, Thornton's fierce drive cannoned off the wall, but McGleish squeezed the rebound home and his celebrations brought him a booking when he turned his shirt back-to-front to point out his name to the travelling fans!

McGleish, who celebrated his 36th birthday yesterday (Wednesday), said: "It's always nice to get one against Brighton, because they do give me a lot of stick throughout the game. And it's nice to get to 11 after having one in the week against Bristol Rovers not credited to me."

Jones atoned for his earlier error when 10 minutes from time Elliott Bennett got the wrong side of Purches, but the keeper tipped a fierce effort over.

Charlie Daniels went close four minutes from time with a powerful effort that Kuipers beat away and Nicky Adams couldn't convert the rebound.

After the game, O's boss Williams, who celebrated his first year in charge, said: "We have to be satisfied with a point because we can't change it, but I think the players did all they could to get the win.

"If you look at the game overall, it's probably a fair result, because Brighton were a handful on the break and you can see why they have got such a good away record.

"We're disappointed because we wanted to win the game, but it's a satisfactory point, so we will take it and move on. All credit to the players for digging out a point."

Williams admitted his side had a slice of luck when Chorley's push on Dickinson was missed. "I wouldn't disagree with Gus Poyet," smiled Williams. "And I'm sure if a penalty had been given a red card would have followed.

"You could question an awful lot of decisions, but I don't because I have a wife and kids to feed.

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