Writer: Vital O
Date:Sunday February 16 2014
15th February 2014. 15:00
A second half penalty by Joe Garner was enough to cancel out Matthieu Baudry's first half strike as Leyton Orient drew 1-1 at Preston North End.
Leyton Orient went in to the match having lost their previous three matches and made two changes to the side that lost at home to Bristol City during the week.
Eldin Jakupovic returned in goal for the O's whilst David Mooney replaced Chris Dagnall to partner Kevin Lisbie up front for the first time since November.
Shaun Batt also returned to the Orient bench having missed the better part of two months with a hamstring injury.
Preston made one change to their side, bringing Tom Clarke in for Jack King, on a day in which a footballing legend was remembered.
Following the sad news of Sir Tom Finney's passing had been announced on Friday, Preston laid tribute to their former player.
A minute's silence was held before the start of the match with each Preston player wearing 'Finney' on the back of their shirts for the game, whilst the whole stadium, including both of the dugouts, stood to applaud the former Preston and England man on the 7th minute.
Preston started the match lively as they went in search of an early goal, but it was Orient who came close to grabbing the lead 7 minutes in.
Lloyd James whipped in a dangerous free-kick which found Matthieu Baudry unmarked inside the box, but the French defender could only fire straight at Declan Rudd in the Preston goal.
It was a much better start by Orient compared to the one at home to Bristol City on Tuesday night, with the O's looking a lot more comfortable in possession.
Despite the improved Orient performance, it was the hosts who looked more likely to open the scoring, coming close through Joe Garner and captain John Welsh on separate occasions.
The Orient defence appeared more resolute with Eldin Jakupovic back in goal, and with 43 minutes on the clock opened the scoring.
Gary Sawyer delivered a free-kick towards the Preston goal which Kevin Lisbie flicked on into the path of Baudry. Having missed the chance to put the O's ahead in the opening minutes, the Frenchman made no mistake this time round, firing the ball past Rudd to claim his second goal of the season.
Having taken the lead just before the interval, Russell Slade was sure to be the happier of the two managers as the sides went in for half time.
As the second half started, it was Preston who looked the more attacking as they searched for an equaliser.
The Orient defence continued to frustrate the Preston attack however, preventing the hosts from creating many chances.
Despite Orient's solidarity at the back, Preston found a way back in to the match when they were awarded a penalty on the 63rd minute.
Craig Davies went down under the challenge of Baudry inside the box, and although Orient may have felt the decision was harsh, Joe Garner fired home from 12 yards to level the score.
The Preston equaliser had a clear effect on both the fans and the players, as the hosts looked to push on for a second.
With 10 minutes to go, Preston spurned their best chance to grab the winner. Scott Wiseman delivered a fantastic cross in to the Orient box which found the head of substitute Kevin Davies, but the former England striker could only glance his header wide of the goal.
Shaun Batt came on to mark his return from injury when he replaced Moses Odubajo on the 81st minute, as Orient held on to the draw to register their first point in four matches.
The draw leaves Orient in third place, now five points off of leaders Brentford and three away from second place Wolves, after both sides won their matches.
The O's next three fixtures are at home, starting on Tuesday night against Stevenage, where they will be hoping to pick up maximum points as they continue to fight for promotion.
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Date:Sunday February 16 2014
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