Leyton Orient 1-1 Scunthorpe United
Oussumane Cissé spared the O’s blushes, on Saturday, as they salvaged a point after gifting Ryan Loft an early opener.
Interim head coach, Jobi McAnuff cut a frustrated figure on the touchline, admitting: “We had been looking to kick on with two home games this week – but we’re frustrated with two draws. I’m not hanging up my boots – just yet – and will turn out if I have to.”
In their first meaningful attack, a team Orient have now not beaten for a decade – went ahead when
Loft profited from a defensive mix-up, between Lawrence Vigouroux and Dan Happe and converted the classy Dutchman, Kevin van Veen’s almost nonchalant cross.
The punchless O’s nearly levelled, on 17 minutes, when Dan Kemp hit the crossbar from a wind-assisted flag-kick, with Scunny’s Mark Howard stranded on his line.
The Iron kept pressing with Alex Gillead forcing Lawrence Vigouroux into a smart parry before Alfie Beestin was almost too easily allowed a free pot – which Jamie Turley was fortunate to block.
Arguably against the run of play, a clumsy Junior Brown foul on Kemp, saw the former Hammer curl in a delightful free-kick, eleven minutes from the interval, and Cissé netted with a point-blank header.
The obsession with playing out from the back twice nearly cost the O’s soon after the turnaround. Firstly. Happe conceded an unnecessary free-kick, from which Junior Brown nearly converted from van Veen’s free-kick and Vigouroux’s tippy-tappy pass, soon after left James Brophy in no man’s land and earning the left-back a caution for a foul on Sweeney.
Interim boss, Jobi McAnuff then made a double substitution with goalscorer Cissé and the ineffective Tristan Abrahams withdrawn for top scorer, Danny Johnson and schemer, Hector Kyprianou.
But, the defensively nervous O’s continued to frustrate their nervous online viewers as, on the hour, Sam Ling and Vigouroux collided and despite van Veen knocking the loose ball goalwards, Ling was almost apologetically able to clear.
On another day, the visitors might have won a couple of late penalty appeals, before Orient’s Craig Clay and Johnson wasted half-chances, as both sides seemed content with a point.
McAnuff added: “Of course, it’s always frustrating not being able to affect things on the pitch. I’m keeping myself ticking over and will return if needed. But, I’m really disappointed we didn’t kick on after our goal.”
It’s now two months since a home win and the gaffer admitted: “We’ve got to get winning – and quickly. And, off the back of two long journeys, these last two home games were opportunities. I thought today was a really big chance for us to go and get three points – especially after our midweek, creditable draw.”
He concluded: “We’ll get back to the drawing board as we’re without a midweek game, before our trip to Cardiff, this Saturday, to face Newport County (kick-off 1pm).
Former Middlesbrough and Watford defender, and now Scunthorpe boss, Neil Cox, said: “I’m frustrated we didn’t get a couple of penalty decisions. But, if you had asked me beforehand, I’d have probably taken a point.
“Orient pushed on at the end and it’s always a difficult place to get a result. I’m happy with a one-one draw at Leyton Orient. But, we’ve now got thirteen games left and we’ll see if we can win as many as possible.”
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Sam Ling, Jamie Turley, Dan Happe, James Brophy, Nick Freeman, Ouss Cissé (Hector Kyprianou 56′), Craig Clay, Dan Kemp, Conor Wilkinson, Tristan Abrahams (Danny Johnson 56′) Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Joe Widdowson, James Dayton, Tunji Akinola, Jayden Sweeney
Scunthorpe United: Mark Howard, Jordan Clarke, Jai Rowe, Junior Brown, Jacob Bedeau, Alex Gillead, Jordan Hallam (Lewis Spence 38′), Alfie Beestin, Jem Katacan, Kevin van Veen (Devarn Green 85′), Ryan Loft (Abo Eisa 85′) Subs not used: Rory Watson (GK), Myles Hippolyte, Teddy Rowe, Mason O’Malley
Referee: Benjamin Speedie
Assistants: Andy Bennett and Daniel Cook
Fourth Official: Lee Swabey