Leyton Orient 0-0 Walsall
Jobi McAnuff’s O’s play-off hopes suffered a Bank Holiday Monday blow, after being held by the struggling Saddlers.
A nondescript opening half saw only Orient’s overlapping full-back, Sam Ling go closest, seeing his close-range effort lacking power with the visitors – thirteen games winless – enjoying the advantage of kicking with the biting wind. The Saddlers’ Josh Gordon tested Orient keeper, Lawrence Vigouroux, on five minutes, before Mat Sadler skied a Tyriek Wright flag-kick over – when well-placed – a minute later.
The second period mirrored the opening half, with neither side creating any clear-cut opportunities. Summing up a listless performance, Orient’s Dan Kemp’s 75th-minute goalbound effort was blocked by a teammate, before Vigouroux was only stretched, in stoppage time, doing well to hold on to Emmanuel Osadebe’s cross.
McAnuff admitted: “Your word ‘frustrating’ just about sums up the performance. We looked at this game as an opportunity to get three points. We didn’t quite go and grab the game by the scruff of the neck, we looked a bit flat and lacked intensity.”
He concluded: “Our recent efforts – which have been fantastic – I have to give that praise to the lads – they’ve put in a hell of a shift recently – looked like it had caught up with us a bit today.”
Under-pressure opposing Brian Dutton – now having overseen a 14-game barren run, added: “Obviously, I’m gutted we haven’t got that win, but when you come to a team that had won four on the bounce and you keep them to ‘zero’ – then that’s a positive.”
He admitted: “The game was on a knife-edge today. Did either side deserve to win today? Probably not. But, it was a well-contested League Two fixture. I wouldn’t have taken a point beforehand – but it was an honourable point.”
Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Sam Ling, Tunji Akinola, Jamie Turley, Joe Widdowson (Louis Dennis 64′), Oussumane Cissé (Hector Kyprianou 46′), Daniel Kemp, Craig Clay (Jobi McAnuff 72′), James Brophy, Conor Wilkinson, Danny Johnson Subs not used: Sam Sargeant (GK), Josh Coulson, James Dayton, Myles Judd, Tristan Abrahams
Walsall: Jack Rose, Hayden White, James Clarke, Mat Sadler, Max Melbourne, Tyriek Wright, Liam Kinsella, Sam Perry, Emmanuel Osadebe, Josh Gordon (Derick Osei, 88′), Caolan Lavery (Rory Holden 45′) Subs not used: Liam Roberts, Cam Norman, Wes McDonald, Tom Leak, Frank Vincent
Referee: Paul Howard
Assistants: Greg Read and Stephen Brown
Fourth Official: Scott Williams