Late goals rescue point for gutsy O's against promotion hopefuls Mansfield
Leyton Orient 2
Mansfield Town 2
By Charlie Stong at Brisbane Road
Leyton Orient scored two late goals to earn a point against Mansfield Town at Brisbane Road this afternoon, extending their unbeaten start to the season to five games.
Orient had the better of the chances in the first half, but failed to break the deadlock.
And two goals for the Stags early in the second half, one a penalty from Jordan Bowrey and the other a fine move finished off by his strike partner Andy Cook, looked to have given the visitors, who are among the favourites for promotion from League Two, the win.
But Danny Johnson tapped home on 82 minutes to give the O’s hope, and Ruel Sotiriou converted after fine work from James Brophy down the left to give Orient a point to add to the three they collected at Oldham on the opening day.
Orient had won their first four games of the season – two in the EFL Cup, one in the EFL Trophy and last week’s 1-0 success at Oldham.
But they came up against a fine side this afternoon, with Mansfield boss Graham Coughlin fielding no fewer than seven summer signings in his starting line-up.
A rather even first-half ended goalless, although the best chances fell to the home side.
On 18 minutes winger Sotiriou twisted and turned in the Stags’ penalty area, but his shot was well saved by Marek Stech in the Mansfield goal.
Soon after, and under no pressure, Stech dropped the ball from a corner, but Ouss Cisse’s poke forward was cleared off the line.
Then just before half-time Johnson turned Rollin Menayese inside out before unleashing a shot which cannoned back off the left-hand post.
At the other end most of the promising attacks for Mansfield stemmed from Corey O’Keeffe, the ex-Birmingham right-sided player, who was the Stags’ man of the match in their opening day 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers.
On 24 minutes O’Keeffe made space for himself down the right flank, crossed towards Cook, but when the ball fell to Harry Charsley his shot was easily saved by Lawrence Vigouroux in the Orient goal.
And 10 minutes before the break O’Keeffe’s fine cross, again from the right, found Mal Benning, but his shot was wide of the O’s goal.
Orient enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession at the start of the second period. Good play by Sotiriou found Sam Ling down the right, but his cross was cleared by Ryan Sweeney.
However Mansfield took the lead on 52 minutes. Stech’s ball was pumped forward towards Cook, Brophy got into a right tangle and tripped Cook, and Bowery’s penalty was fine – high to the right.
On the hour Bowery had his legs taken from him as he went to shoot, but referee David Rock played the advantage as the ball fell to Charsley, who drew a fine, acrobatic save from Vigouroux.
Jobi McAnuff and Louis Dennis were introduced for Craig Clay and Jordan Maguire-Drew on 62 minutes, and the changes were ultimately to make the difference.
Just minutes after coming on Dennis twisted and turned and got a shot away from the edge of the box but it went wide to the right.
Mansfield doubled their advantage on 72 when George Marris’ ball down the right found Charsley, whose pull-back was converted by Cook with a simple side-footed effort to Vigouroux’s left.
But Orient’s late comeback showed immense resilience. First Johnson tapped home after Josh Coulson’s shot was kept out by Stech, then, deep into added time, Brophy’s cross from the left was poked home by Sotiriou.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Cisse, Happe, Coulson, Clay, Maguirre-Drew, Dayton, Brophy, Sotiriou, Johnson
Subs: Sargeant, Widdowson, Mcanuff, Wilkinson, Thomas, Dennis, Angol