O’s stalemate

Leyton Orient v Barnsley – Sky Bet League One – Brisbane Road – Report

Leyton Orient 1-1 Barnsley

Leyton Orient shared the spoils with Barnsley at Brisbane Road with Joe Pigott’s penalty putting the home side ahead just prior to the half-hour mark before Herbie Kane’s stunning equaliser secured the point for the battling Tykes – who remain unbeaten away from home in Sky Bet League One this season.     

Richie Wellens made one change to the O’s side that defeated Carlisle 1-0 at Brunton Park last week, with Jordan Graham coming into the side to replace Ed Turns.

Barnsley manager Neill Collins made two changes to the side that won 1-0 at Exeter City on Saturday, October 7, with Ben Killip taking over from Liam Roberts in goal and Josh Benson replacing Callum Benson in midfield.

Following the loss of Barnsley’s away kit in a fire onboard their team coach whilst returning from a recent match and with the club being unable to obtain further supplies prior to the game, Leyton Orient agreed to switch to their all-own white away strip to avoid a colour clash on the day.

After a perfectly observed minute of silence for the victims of the ongoing and devastating events taking place in Israel and Palestine, the game kicked off in bright sunlight and with O’s playing their usual sleek passing game and attempting to unlock the Barnsley defence from around the box, the East Londoners went close in the tenth minute when after losing his marker on the left, the ever dangerous Theo Archibald whipped over an outstanding cross for Pigott to nod just over the bar.

With Barnsley starting to establish a foothold in the game and pressing forward well, the Tykes themselves went close when O’s keeper Sol Brynn first dropped Kane’s corner before fully redeeming himself just after with a magnificent save to deny Nicky Cadden’s goal-bound strike.

With former O’s loanee Jamie McCart having been adjudged by referee Peter Wright to have used his arm to block Ruel Sotiriou’s fierce strike, Orient was awarded a penalty in the twenty-seventh minute and despite Killip going the correct way, Pigott buried the spot kick deep into the bottom left-hand corner to put his side 1-0 up.

Following the goal, despite some good build-up play in midfield and several half chances being created, neither really threatened to break through and after four additional minutes of stoppage time, O’s went into the break, deservedly on the balance of play, one goal to the good.

Three minutes after the restart, Devante Cole outpaced the O’s defence to fire a low cross across the six-yard box but with an open goal in front of him, Josh Benson failed to control the ball before diverting it past the left upright. A big chance missed and a massive let-off for the O’s.

With O’s in the ascendency and twice going close just before the hour mark, first and after being set up by the outstanding Brandon Cooper, Sotiriou’s powerful effort flew just wide of the left post, before Ethan Galbraith’s piledriver from outside the box, which seemed headed for the top right-hand corner of the net, was superbly tipped over by Killick at full stretch.

Despite being somewhat fortunate to still be only one goal behind, just on the seventy-minute mark, Barnsley got themselves back on level terms, when after making space for himself twenty yards out and playing a clever one-two with Cole, Kane curled the ball off the underside of the crossbar and into the top corner past Brynn to make it 1-1.

Almost immediately after his goal, Kane should have scored again – this time seeing his shot deflect wide of the post from a good position following McAtee’s deft pullback across the area.

With Barnsley applying constant pressure on the O’s defence in search of a winner in the last quarter of the match, their hopes of victory were all but extinguished when substitute Sam Cosgrove was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away in stoppage time.

Substitute Shaq Forde had a chance to win it for O’s at the death, only to see his header well saved from close range by Killick.

Despite both teams rueing missed opportunities to claim the three points, in retrospect, a draw can be seen as a fair reflection of the game overall. O’s can certainly take heart from a performance – against a Barnsley side in third place and almost certain to be in the promotion mix at the end of the campaign – which once again fully showed how much the E10 side has improved since their early season struggles to come to terms with League One football following promotion – and Richie Wellens and his staff deserve nothing but the very highest praise for that.

Next up for the O’s is a trip to struggling Northampton Town on Tuesday, October 24 (7.45pm).  

Leyton Orient: Brynn, Happe, Brown, Pigott (Drinan 68’) Sotiriou (Moncur 89’) Archibald, Cooper, El Mizouni (Capt) Galbraith (Forde 88’) Graham, Hunt Subs not used: Howes, James, Sweeney, Turns

Barnsley: Killip, Williams (Capt) Russell, De Gevigney, Cadden (Dodgson 77’) Kane, Benson (Phillips 59’) O’Keefe (Cotter 46’) McCart, Watters (McAtee 59’), Cole (Cosgrove 77’) Subs not used: Flavell, Shepherd

Referee: Peter Wright

Assistant Referees: Adrian Tranter and Stephen Brown

Fourth Official: David Harrison

Attendance: 8,642 (1,248 from Barnsley)