Points dropped but Kitch remains confident over O’s title charge

Brian Jeeves
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Leyton Orient v Swindon Town – Sky Bet League Two – Brisbane Road – Reaction

Leyton Orient 1-1 Swindon Town

A point gained or two dropped? Either way, Leyton Orient extended their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two sequence to seven matches and remains a sizable eleven points clear at the summit.

Peter Kitchen believed the latter but insisted that the East Londoners are on course to secure promotion sooner rather than later.

“It was a classic game of two halves, with the supporters perhaps thinking it was a missed opportunity,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.  

“However, the league table confirms that we are well on course and after such a fantastic record-breaking season, it would be a travesty if we weren’t also going to be crowned champions before the end of the season. 

“We started the day with twelve games to play and an eleven-point lead over second place and despite all of the chasing pack winning apart from Stevenage, who had a disastrous afternoon at bottom club Rochdale, and Stockport, drawing against Doncaster, we ended the day eleven points clear of Carlisle, now in second, with games running out. 

“Improving Swindon, under new manager Jody Morris, came into the game off the back of wins in their last two games and with an outside chance of a play-off place. They were always going to make this a competitive encounter.”

Kitchen continued: “Richie Wellens’ men were unbeaten in six, having won four of those, and were aiming to keep adding points to the board. The O’s boss named an unchanged team, with Smyth and Moncur on the bench. Both teams started competitively, working very hard to close their opponents down in a feisty, high-energy game, but the O’s appeared to be winning the battles and gaining the upper hand when Omar Beckles’ powerful header past a despairing Brynn in goal for the visitors gave them the lead from their first corner after twelve minutes. 

“We dominated most of the first half, but despite Swindon overplaying and sloppy defending gifting the O’s several opportunities, poor decision-making meant we failed to capitalise and were unable to kill the contest.

“After the break, we seemed to have lost our energy and rhythm. The Robins got themselves back into the game just after the hour when substitute Jacob Wakerling was put through and coolly steered his shot past O’s keeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

“Wellens made several substitutions, initially to try to grab a winner, and later to ensure the point. Although we picked up the tempo in the last quarter of an hour, we were unable to find a winner. 

The former O’s frontman concluded: “In the end, we extended our unbeaten run to seven and maintained the status quo. But the fans, and I’m sure Wellens, were left frustrated by our failure to kill off our opponents when we were bossing the game and didn’t implement what we work on in training. 

“It’s a classic case of when a team is on top, they need to take advantage because the opposition has periods in games when they fight back. Failing to take chances creates nervousness amongst the team and encourages the opposition to keep fighting and grow in confidence. 

We’re at the business end of the season. Every game will be very competitive. We really need to take our chances and help to ease the pressure on ourselves in the final run-in.”

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk