Leyton Orient 1-1 Northampton
Sky Bet League Two
Ross Embleton’s Leyton Orient restored some pride to claim a battling point, on Tuesday night.
The struggling O’s seemingly had no answer to Ryan Watson’s stroke of half-time stunner.
But, a strong second-half performance saw them snatch a deserved point from Josh Wright’s penalty strike.
In what was never a ‘dirty’ game, both sides ended the contest with ten men, with Matt Warburton and Orient’s James Dayton red carded.
Orient were under the cosh from the kick-off and were almost the architects of their own downfall – on nine minutes – when Sam Sargeant – under no apparent pressure – passed straight to Town’s Matt Wharburton, who subsequently rattled an upright, before a brave Sargeant save and Josh Coulson block kept the home goal intact.
In-form Northampton, warming-up for a Derby County Emirates FA Cup 4th Round date, always looked comfortable against a nervous Orient defence, and Ryan Watson was a cigarette paper’s width away from netting, on 27 minutes, after Vadaine Oliver was all too easily allowed a free header on the six yard line.
Having seemingly weathered wall-to-wall pressure, the O’s finally got on the front foot and Conor Wilkinson was unlucky to only sting David Cornell’s fingers with a rasping close-range, 38th minute half-volley.
That Wilkinson effort proved a false dawn, as Watson was frustratingly, all too easily allowed to pick his spot and fire the visitors ahead, two minutes from the interval, with a riding ggdgr drive which gave Sargeant no chance.
The East Londoners were not faring much better after the turnaround, but a 57th minute formation change saw youngster, Ruel Sotiriou thrown into the fray, with the more creative, Jordan Maguire-Drew also introduced.
Barely three minutes later Embleton had taken an almighty gamble, using his final substitute, with Dayton adding much-needed width.
And, Sotiriou at least had a go and showing some fine trickery, from Maguire-Drew’s 67th minute flag-kick, his close-range drive was somehow kept out by skipper, Charlie Goode’s brave header.
With the O’s seemingly in the asendency, Sotiriou soon went closer and brought a fine, low save from Cornell.
With six minutes remaining the referee, Alan Young, spotted a handball and Wright smashed home, from 12 yards. An almighty scrum then ensued with an opposing player holding up the ball, in a bid to waste time. Wharton was then shown a straight red card, with Dayton also sent- off.
Eight minutes stoppage time was shown on the fourth official’s board, and the O’s almost won thus clash, with Maguire-Drew bringing a full length save from Cornell.
Leyton Orient: Sam Sargeant, Marvin Ekpiteta, Josh Coulson (Jordan Maguire-Drew 57) (capt), Dan Happe, Ouss Cisse, James Brophy, Josh Wright, Conor Wilkinson, George Marsh, Matt Harrold (Ruel Sotiriou 57). Subs (not used): Lawrence Vigouroux, James Dayton, Myles Judd, Harry Kyprianou, Jayden Sweeney
Northampton Town: David Cornell, Charlie Goode (capt), Jordan Turnbull, Nicky Adams (Joe Martin 71), Andy Williams (Sam Hoskins 56), Ryan Watson, Chris Lines, Michael Harriman, Paul Anderson, Vadaine Olivier (Andy Williams 75), Matt Warburton. Subs (not used): Steve Arnold, Reece Hall-Johnson, Morgan Roberts, Ethan Johnston.
Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Paul Lister, Nicholas Cooper
Fourth Official: Leigh Crowhurst