October 1st, 2016

Jim O’Brien bags a brace in Leyton Orient draw

Jim O’Brien bags a brace in Leyton Orient draw Jim O’Brien bags a brace in Leyton Orient draw
Updated: 4:53 pm, May 07, 2015

TWO goals from Jim O’Brien earned the Sky Blues a point away at Leyton Orient but Steven Pressley’s young side perhaps should have come away with all three.

Midfielder O’Brien gave the visitors a deserved 1-0 lead at the break with the Sky Blues dominating the opening 45 minutes.

But Orient came out rejuvenated after the re-start and goals from Scott Cuthbert and Jay Simpon put the hosts in front.

It looked as though Pressely’s side were going to come away from the Matchroom Stadium empty handed but they batted to the end and O’Brien fired home in the final minute to earn his side a valuable point.

Pressley handed debuts to both recent loan signings Aaron Martin and Gary Madine , while the club’s latest academy star Jack Finch started in the heart of midfield alongside re-born playmaker Adam Barton.

The Sky Blues were dealt a huge blow in the early stages when Reda Johnson was forced to retire after a nasty clash of heads with Gianvito Plasmati. Andy Webster made way for Johnson who looked visibly in pain as he walked off down the tunnel.

What followed was a cagey opening period but both Madine and Frank Nouble were proving a handful to the Orient defence.

Madine almost broke the deadlock on 26 minutes when he was superbly picked out by O’Brien inside the area but his first touch drew an excellent last-ditch tackle from Mathieu Baudry.

At the other end Dean Cox volleyed narrowly wide of goal before the City fans were in uproar just after the half-hour mark. Nouble got away from Cuthbert inside the area and defender reacted by pushing the striker over but the referee waved away any protest.

With the Sky Blues on top it was no surprise to see them go ahead ten minutes before half-time.

A mistake by Cuthbert allowed Madine to break towards the byline and he had the vision to pick out O’Brien by the penalty spot who fired first-time past Gary Woods.

The visitors picked up where they left off after the break with John Fleck, who was playing out on the left, forcing Woods into a smart save on 53 minutes.

But two minutes later Orient were back on level terms somewhat against the run of play with Cuthbert heading home unchallenged from a corner.

The goal sparked the hosts into life and with 20 minutes remaining they went 2-1 in front when some more poor defending allowed Simpson to beat Lee Burge with a header.

It was a bitter pill for the visitors who did not deserve to be 2-1 down. But perhaps when previous City sides may have crumbled Pressley rolled the dice by introducing Simeon Jackson and teenager James Maddison in search of an equaliser.

And he got his reward in the final minute when a cross from the left by Fleck was half cleared and O’Brien flashed a half volley past a sea of bodies into the net which sparked jubilant scenes amongst the traveling support.

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