Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade disappointed after O's concede late to draw 1-1 at Bradford City in League One

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade. Picture: Action Images Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade. Picture: Action Images

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade admits it was frustrating to concede a late equaliser against Bradford City but praised his team's work off the ball at Valley Parade.

Lloyd James gave the O's the lead at the end of the first half and it looked like it would be enough to seal all three points for Slade's side but a free-kick from Nahki Wells in injury time ensured the match finished 1-1.

"It's always frustrating when you concede late goals and late important goals," Slade said after the game. 

"If I'm honest, as much as they huffed and puffed second half, they didn't really create an opening and I thought we defended fantastically well and it was a bit disappointing that we didn't collect all three points.

"It was a fantastic strike by Lloyd, he's turned and bent it in the top corner and to be fair to them it was a great strike that got them a point today."

Orient enjoyed less possession in the second half as Bradford pushed forward in search of an equaliser but the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances.

"Particularly without the ball I thought we were excellent," Slade said.

"Without the ball it was a really, really good performance - a hard-working performance, the two centre halves were excellent, we were getting blocks in and Jamie Jones hasn't had a save to make in the second half.

"That tells you everything about how well we did without the ball in the second period and as much as they huffed and puffed they really didn't create a great deal at all."

Orient started without either of their two first-choice frontmen. David Mooney is serving a three-match ban and Kevin Lisbie was only considered fit enough for the bench.

Robbie Simpson made his first start alongside Shaun Batt up front for the O's and Slade was pleased with how his side adapted.

"We were nice and solid, we've come to Bradford with no Lisbie on the teamsheet, no Mooney on the teamsheet and I thought Batt and Robbie Simpson did a tremendous job today," he said.

"Robbie played his role, he played about 75 minutes and we're really pleased with his contribution."

Orient will have been disappointed not to have held on for the win but with fellow promotion rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End both dropping points elsewhere, Slade said he was still satisfied with the draw.

"It goes without saying now that work ethic and that attitude - the players take that everywhere with them now and that's very important," he continued.

"How will important will that point be today? We don't know - others have dropped points today and we've picked up one that could prove to be very important."

Bradford had three penalty appeals early in the first half turned down but Slade believes referee Mark Heywood got the decisions right.

He said: "None of them were penalties - I've looked at them all on DVD and I don't see a penalty in there at all."

An impressive 374 O's fans made the trip north for the contest and Slade expressed his gratitude to the Orient faithful.

"They've travelled well throughout the season - this one is close to Christmas as well so it's a long one for them," he added.

"It's very much appreciated by myself and the players that they make these journeys to stay behind the team and hopefully we've given them something to cherish over Christmas."


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