Lloyd James' 89th minute penalty earns Leyton Orient a deserved 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town in their final pre-season friendly

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

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Lloyd James converted a late penalty to secure Leyton Orient a well-deserved 1-1 draw with Championship side Ipswich Town in their final warm-up match.

Balint Bajner got the opener after ten minutes, tucking into an empty net from close-range. With a minute remaining, James levelled from the penalty spot.

Russell Slade began with new-boys Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson amongst the substitutes, whilst Darius Henderson - signed on Friday – was not included in the matchday squad.

The O's starting XI saw four changes from the side which drew 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, with Adam Legzdins, Shane Lowry, Shaun Batt and Chris Dagnall all coming into the side.

Gary Woods, Dean Cox and Kevin Lisbie dropped to the bench, with Scott Cuthbert uninvolved following injury against the Hoops in midweek.

Orient had the game’s first chance, striking the crossbar after nine minutes before falling behind less than 60 seconds later.

After good work from Dagnall earned the O’s a free-kick, James stepped up to fire in an effort which hit the crossbar on its way over.

Town then moved the ball forward at pace, with Jay Tabb seeing his shot blocked by Adam Legzdins, only for the ball to fall into the path of Bajner to sweep home.

David Mooney looked to have equalised for a split-second in the 18th minute but after controlling a shot well, saw a deflection carry his effort into the side netting.

Dagnall and Mooney had been isolated on several occasions throughout the first half, with Dagnall in particular given the thankless task of chasing balls over the top which he was never going to catch.

On the flanks, Shaun Batt and Bradley Pritchard failed to offer the same width or threat which might be expected of Dean Cox and recent acquisition, McAnuff.

Good link-up from Dagnall and Pritchard nearly provided an equaliser, with the former driving forward with the ball before laying into the path of Pritchard, who jabbed wide off the outside of his boot on the run.

Romain Vincelot then came as close as anyone had for the O’s, darting into the penalty area and side-stepping a challenge before drawing a fine stop from Dean Gerken when one-on-one.

The Tractor Boys had the last chance before the break when substitute Cameron Stewart – on in place of the injured Jonathon Parr – whipped a free-kick narrowly wide of Legzdins’ near-post from 25 yards.

With that, the half drew to a close, with Orient having been the better side in spite of the scoreline.

McAnuff introduced himself to the Orient faithful with an excellent run and cross, nipping in to nod the ball down before charging down the touchline and crossing just behind Pritchard as he charged into the edge of the penalty area.

Chances were few and far between after the break, by far the best going the way of Orient when Pritchard slipped the ball through for Mooney, who could only poke wide.

That was Pritchard’s last involvement, with the midfielder one of three to be withdrawn as Simpson, Cox and Marvin Bartley entered the fray after 66 minutes.

Half-time substitute David McGoldrick has Ipswich’s best chance after the break on 75 minutes, shooting tamely into the palms of Legzdins following good work down the left from Stewart.

Elliott Omozusi handed Ipswich another chance on a plate a few minutes later, nodding back to Legzdins blindly, with the goalkeeper alert enough to race off his line and prevent the lurking Tabb from getting an effort in on goal.

With eight minutes remaining, debutant Simpson looked to break following an Ipswich corner but saw his route to goal blocked off by Tyrone Mings on the halfway line.

Legzdins was responsible for keeping the scoreline at 1-0 as the minutes ticked by, pulling off a superb double save to first prevent McGoldrick and then stop Alex Henshall's follow-up from point-blank range.

Cox then drew a fine stop from Gerken, who pushed the winger’s firmly-struck free-kick over the bar.

With a minute remaining, Orient were awarded a penalty when substitute Lisbie was fouled inside the penalty area by Henshall following a determined and penetrating run in the 18-yard box.

From the resulting spot-kick, James stepped up coolly roll past Gerken to earn the O’s a share of the spoils.

Orient end pre-season unbeaten ahead of next weekend’s curtain-raiser at home to newly-promoted Chesterfield.

Leyton Orient: Legzdins; Omozusi, Clarke (c), Baudry, Lowry (Sawyer 61); Pritchard (Cox 66), James, Vincelot (Bartley 66), Batt (McAnuff HT); Dagnall (Lisbie HT), Mooney (Simpson 66) Subs: Lee, Okosun, Nikolaou & Woods (GK).

Ipswich Town: Gerken; Parr (Stewart 39), Berra, Chambers (c), Mings; Hewitt, Tabb (Henshall 80), Skuse (Bru 80), Hyam (Wordsworth 73); Murphy (Nouble 73), Bajner (McGoldrick HT (Marriott 87)).

Subs: Bialkowski (GK), Clarke, & Crowe (GK).

Attendance: 2,052 Referee: Mr G Sutton

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