O’s stage late fightback

Leyton Orient 2-2 Mansfield Town

In-form Leyton Orient staged a late, dramatic recovery, on Saturday, as two goals in the last eight minutes saw goal machine Danny Johnson and Ruel Sotiriou cancel out second-half Jordan Bowery and Andy Cook strikes.

Buoyed by four consecutive league and cup wins, Jordan Maguire-Drew tested former Orient loanee, Marek Stech, early doors, with a trademark free-kick, but apart from Ossu Cisse and Dan Happe failing to capitalize on half-chances, it was 43 minutes before top scorer, Johnson got a sight of goal. However, his instinctive effort rebounded off a post.

But O’s slow start to the second period saw Mansfield cash in when former ‘O’, Bowery beat Lawrence Vigouroux from 12 yards, on 52 minutes, after James Brophy had drawn a foul from his clean-through strike partner, Cook. With the bit between their teeth, Mansfield attacked with intent and Harry Charsley tried his luck and brought a fine 60th minute save out of the diving Vigouroux.

Now facing an uphill task, the hosts struggled to get a foothold and Maguire-Drew was withdrawn, soon after for Louis Dennis – midweek Cup scorer against Plymouth Argyle – with the evergreen, Jobi McAnuff on for a tiring Craig Clay. However, Mansfield continued to confound the form books and with 18 minutes remaining, Cook turned goalscorer almost casually turned in Charsley’s well-weighted cross and completely fooled a flat-footed Vigouroux.

Seemingly down and out of this contest, Johnson made it five goals in as many games, to give Orient late hope, with eight minutes remaining, after a goalmouth scramble saw Brophy’s effort rebound back off a post. And, two minutes into stoppage time, Sotiriou simply turn home the unselfish Brophy’s fine slide-rule pass to give the O’s an arguably undeserved share of the spoils.

Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Sam Ling, Dan Happe, Josh Coulson (Capt), James Dayton, Craig Clay (Jobi McAnuff 62′), Ouss Cisse (Lee Angol 77′), Jordan Maguire-Drew (Louis Dennis 62′) Ruel Sotiriou, Danny Johnson Subs not used: Sam Sargeant, Joe Widdowson, Conor Wilkinson, Jordan Thomas

Mansfield Town: Marek Stech, Corey O’Keefe, Rollin Menaysee, Mel Benning, Ryan Sweeney, Harry Charsley, Ollie Clarke (Capt), Farrend Rawson, George Maris, Jordan Bowery, Andy Cook (Nicky Maynard 90′) Subs not used: Aiden Stone, Tyrese Sinclair, James Perch, Aaron O’Driscoll, Jamie Reid, Stephen McLaughlin.

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Rowland Lyons

Email: [email protected]