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Leyton Orient 1 Macclesfield Town 1
Sky Bet League Two
Last-gasp Macclesfield stunned Ross Embleton’s Orient as Jacob Blyth’s stoppage time leveller cancelled out James Brophy’s strike at the Breyer Group Stadium on Saturday.
The O’s made a positive start, but Conor Wilkinson was left ruing a second minute chance, when cleverly freed by good Ruel Sotiriou inter-play – only firing straight at a grateful Jonathan Mitchell. Jordan Maguire-Drew then forced Macc skipper, Fiacre Kelleher into a brave block, on nine minutes.
With Macclesfield rarely threatening, the hosts wasted another chance – on 24 minutes – when, latching on to a threaded Josh Wright pass, a clean-through Sotiriou fluffed his lines – mis-controlling – and allowed Mitchell to gather.
Both sides continued to trade blows before the interval, with Sotiriou wasting another chance, when clean through, and Town’s Joe Ironside heading straight at Lawrence Vigoroux – from close-range.
Embleton later revealed that defender, Dan Happe was suffering from a sickness bug and his half-time replacement, Josh Coulson was soon called into action, denying the dangerous Arthur Gnahoua seconds after entering the fray.
With Macclesfield just about edging the contest, as Orient had appeared to have run out of steam, Ironside should have opened the scoring with a clear-cut 64th minute opportunity, but the impressive Lawrence Vigoroux stood firm and made an important block.
Wilkinson again proved wasteful, heading over, from close range, soon to be replaced by former Dundee and Gateshead man, Danny Johnson.
Without really showing signs of opening the scoring, fifteen minutes from time Brophy finally made the breakthrough, latching on to Craig Clay’s fine slide-rule pass. The left-back, come winger made no mistake and beat Mitchell with a fine angled drive.
Despite trying to keep possession deep in Silkmen territory the O’s switched off and as play swung to the home end, with 92 minutes played, Blyth was allowed too much time and space to break the host’s hearts with a fine leveller.
With literally the last kick new signing, Johnson had an excellent chance to restore the east Londoners’ lead, but his snap shot was inches wide.
A frustrated Embleton admitted: “I’m disappointed we didn’t manage the game and let them back in so late on.”
“We scored a great goal. Craig Clay played in a fantastic pass and James Brophy made a fantastic finish. And, the mindset of the group has been good recently – that’s another positive.”
He added: “However, I must give the lads a big pat on the back. Earlier this season today match is the type of game we might have lost. Credit, also to Macclesfield for making it difficult for us.”
Embleton concluded: “I agree that we’re looking up and hoping we can end the season well and as high as possible.”
Silkmen boss – former Wolves and Liverpool star – Mark Kennedy said: “A draw is a fair result. Orient posed us problems in the first-half. But, I’m really pleased with our second-half performance.”
Brophy added: “We’re very much looking up [the league table] – especially after some good performances. But, credit today to Macclesfield who hit back after we had taken the lead.”
He concluded: “There aren’t that many games left in the season so it’s very much about trying to finish as high as we can.”
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, George Marsh, Marvin Ekpiteta, Dan Happe (Josh Coulson 46) James Brophy, Josh Wright, Ossu Cissé, Craig Clay, Jordan Maguire-Drew (Danny Johnson 59), Ruel Sotiriou, Conor Wilkinson (Lee Angol 68). Subs (not used): Sam Sargeant, Joe Widdowson, James Dayton, Harry Kyprianou.
Macclesfield Town: Jonathan Mitchell, Corey O’Keeffe, Fiacre Kelleher (capt), Fraser Horsfall, David Fitzpatrick, Harry Hamblin, Shilow Tracey (Theo Archibald 59) , Connor Kirby (Jacob Blyth 83), Danny Whitehead, Arthur Gnahoua, Joe Ironside (Donovan Wilson 70). Subs (not used): Ben Stephens, Michael Rose, Nathan Cameron.
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Assistants: Stephen Brown, Oliver Jackson
Fourth Official: Marc Wilson