Writer: Jenny K
Date:Wednesday April 13 2011
Tues 12th April/19:45
The O's were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by mid-table Carlisle United on Tuesday evening, a result that doesn't help our play-off push.
After losing to Southampton at the weekend, we needed to go into this game, our game in hand, and get a win to close the gap on the play-offs but instead last night disappointingly fizzled out into a goalless draw between two teams whose season's looked to be running out of steam.
Orient started the brighter, Andrew Whing sending a thunderous drive just wide (with his secret right-foot weapon that I think we should see more of after that near miss!) whilst Harry Kane's glancing header was saved well by Carlisle keeper Adam Collin.
The visitors started to make the mark on the game as the half went on as Craig Curran, Francois Zoko and James Berrett all went close only to be denied by some excellent agile saves from Jones in the O's goal.
The last 15 minutes of the first period was definitely Carlisle's best period of the game as they capitalised on some sloppy defending but luckily Jones was in fine form to keep the scores level.
Going into the second-half the game was desperately crying out for a goal or some spark and Russell Slade obviously agreed, bring on Paul-Jose Mpoku for the ineffective Harry Kane.
Mpoku started to have an immediate effect on the game, moving between the left flank and a more central position to cause Carlisle's defence more problems.
But it was Carlisle who came closest as we headed towards the final whistle, Paddy Madden hitting the bar with a good shot as Orient tried to hold on.
Up until the last ten minutes the game had felt like an end of season encounter, especially in the second-half. I was slightly concerned by a lack of desire and commitment until the team suddenly decided that they wanted and needed to win the game as the final whistle approached.
We had time to carve out two good opportunities before the end, both coming from good play down the wings (something that may indicate that we need to start with two wingers if we want to create more chances in games).
The first saw Dean Cox burst down the right and play the ball across the box towards Adam Chambers, but unfortunately the goal-shy midfielder could only blaze over the bar.
If that miss was a head in hands moment then Cox's miss a few minutes later was worse. Mpoku delievered a beautiful cross from the left onto the head of Cox, only for the midfielder to send his effort well over the bar.
Mpoku had a claim for a penalty turned down late on and then Matt Spring's drive towards goal was somehow cleared off the line as the ball agonisingly dribbled the wrong side of the post - it wasn't going to be our night.
Despite reading different opinions on who was the better team on the night, I would definitely go with the O's. Despite not breaking the deadlock we looked more fluent, in the first half especially and defended well despite a few lapses in concentration.
Elliot Omozusi and Adam Barratt looked strong at the heart of the defence, Omozusi in particular stood out for some outrageous first touches and ball control for a defender.
Carlisle were definitely in the game, the fact that Jamie Jones was our best player is testament to that.
They were solid at the back and whilst they did have a a couple of chances that Jones dealt with well, their creativity and attacking flair looked limited as they play out the remainder of their season.
The result was not ideal in helping our push for the play-offs with Rochdale beating Southampton, helping Dale move above Bournemouth into sixth.
Whilst results haven't been play-off worthy in recent weeks, mathematically we are still in with a chance.
Being three points off 6th with five games to go makes getting into top six easily possible on paper, though a tiring and injury hit team with a tough run of games means the task will be hard.
But there is still plenty of time (and possible twists in such a tight league) to keep the faith.
Leyton Orient: Jones; Whing (Crowe 75), Omozusi, Barrett, Daniels; Spring; Chambers, Dawson, Cox; Kane (Mpoku 60), McGleish (Téhoué 75)
Carlisle: Collin; Simek, Michalik, Murphy, Robson; Taiwo, Thirlwell, Noble; Berrett, Curran, Zoko (Madden 76)
Date:Wednesday April 13 2011
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|Leyton Orient||2||-||0||MK Dons|
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||7||71|
|8. MK Dons||46||19||13||14||17||70|
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