Leyton Orient 1-1 Town
Saturday, 2nd Aug 2014 16:56
Town’s final pre-season friendly at Leyton Orient ended in a 1-1 draw with Lloyd James netting a final moments penalty for the home side to equalise Balint Bajner’s ninth minute opener for the Blues.
Town started with Dean Gerken in goal, Jonny Parr at right-back, Tyrone Mings on the left and skipper Luke Chambers and Christophe Berra at the heart of the defence.
Luke Hyam was at the centre of the midfield alongside Cole Skuse with Elliott Hewitt on the right and Jay Tabb on the left.
New signing Bajner partnered Daryl Murphy up front. The rest of the first team squad were on the bench, aside from Paul Anderson and Tommy Smith, who missed out with niggles, and Paul Taylor.
The home side threatened first in the eighth minute, James striking the top of the bar with a well-struck freekick from 25 yards.
A minute later, Town went in front. Tabb cut in from the left and hit a low shot which O’s keeper Adam Legzdins blocked. The loose ball ran out to Bajner, who deftly stroked home his second goal in a Blue shirt from just inside the box.
Orient striker David Mooney hit shot on the turn which deflected wide, then Mathieu Baudry saw a header flick through to Gerken with the home side having had more of the early opportunities despite Town having taken the lead.
Just before the half hour, Chambers headed a deep Tabb corner from the left over, Town’s best chance since the goal.
Orient, who had continued to have most of the ball and a greater share of the chances, should have got back on terms in the 33rd minute when Romain Vincelot broke into the area on the right, but Gerken spread himself well to deny the former Dagenham and Redbridge man with his toe.
The Blues were forced into a change in the 38th minute when Parr picked up what looked to be either a groin or hamstring injury. Cameron Stewart took over on the right of midfield with Hewitt switching to right-back.
Just before the half-time whistle was sounded by referee Gary Sutton, sub Stewart curled a freekick just wide after Tabb had been fouled.
Orient will have felt themselves unfortunate to be behind at the break, having played more of the better football and having had one or two decent chances, Vincelot in particular will have been rueing not taking his chance. Town, meanwhile, had one serious opportunity which a grateful Bajner took confidently.
Goalscorer Bajner made way at half-time, David McGoldrick taking over alongside Murphy in the attack. The home side made two changes with former Blue Kevin Lisbie coming on up front.
Town started the second half on top but chances were rare, a 55th minute Chambers header from the second of two corners deflected wide off another Blues player.
On 61 McGoldrick superbly played Mings into space down the left but the full-back’s cross was deflected behind his waiting team-mates.
Five minutes later, Bradley Pritchard played in Mooney, who stabbed wide when he should have put his side back on terms.
A Town corner reached Stewart beyond the far post in the 71st minute but the sub’s shot was blocked. Two minutes later Frank Nouble and Anthony Wordsworth took over from Murphy and Hyam.
Eleven minutes from the end, Tabb almost seized on an error in the Orient defence, but keeper Legzdins was off his line quickly to claim. Town’s second new addition Kevin Bru took over from Skuse on 82 with Alex Henshall replacing Tabb.
With six minutes Gerken left palmed Dean Cox’s 30-yard freekick over, then on 87 Town should have extended their lead. McGoldrick cut his way into the area before hitting a shot which Legzdins blocked.
The loose ball fell to Henshall but the keeper managed to get back to save again, the loose ball hitting the now-offside McGoldrick, who moments later made way for Jack Marriott.
In the final minute, Orient equalised from the spot after Henshall was adjudged to have fouled ex-Blue Lisbie. James sent Gerken the wrong way to score. Moments before the whistle sub Bru shot over.
Although the penalty looked harsh and Town had had the better of the second half, a draw was probably a far result with the O’s the better side in the first, despite having found themselves behind to Bajner’s goal.
Town: Gerken, Parr (Stewart 38), Mings, Hyam (Wordsworth 73), Chambers, Berra, Hewitt, Skuse (Bru 82)), Murphy (Nouble 73), Bajner (McGoldrick 46 (Marriott 88)), Tabb (Henshall 82). Subs: Bialkowski, Clarke, Bru, Crowe. Att: 2,052 (Town: 595)
Photo: Action Images
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