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Leyton Orient deny promotion rivals Wolves
Leyton Orient were knocked off the top of League 1 despite snatching an excellent 1-1 draw at promotion rivals Wolves this afternoon.
Wolves completely dominated the first half but had to settle for just an early goal from Ethan Ebanks-Landell.
The hosts were stunned in the second period by an Orient equaliser completely against the run of play through Mathieu Baudry. But Brentford’s victory enabled the Bees to take over at the top of the division.
Russell Slade made two changes to the team which won at Gillingham on Boxing Day. Shaun Batt was ruled out with a leg injury and his place was taken in attack by Robbie Simpson. Lloyd James returned from suspension and replaced Scott Cuthbert who was serving a one-match ban.
The O’s suffered another terrible start to the festive clash as Ebanks-Landell smashed a fierce strike into the net after just five minutes.
Wolves were looking a constant threat and went close again when Michael Jacobs picked up the ball but his shot was blocked by keeper Jake Larkins.
Orient needed to find a quick response and the visitors mustered their first attempt through Kevin Lisbie’s cross-shot which was easily saved by Carl Ikeme.
Wolves should have made it 2-0 when Jacobs' shot was parried but Jake Cassidy somehow fired the rebound wide from close range.
The hosts were dominating the match and it was just a surprise they had not added to their early lead before the half hour mark.
Orient had a rare opportunity from a corner but Romain Vincelot's header sailed harmlessly over the bar.
But Wolves continued to pummel the visitors and wasted another golden chance when Cassidy headed wide from James Henry's cross.
Henry hit a free-kick just before the break which curled just past the post with Larkins well beaten.
Orient made a change at the break with Gary Sawyer brought on in place of Vincelot.
The hosts were denied a second just after the restart when Larkins did brilliantly to save Kevin McDonald’s low strike.
Wolves were desperately searching for another goal and Henry’s teasing cross should have been on a plate for a team-mate but no-one could get the decisive touch on the ball.
The visitors grabbed an equaliser, totally against the run of play on the hour mark, when Moses Odubajo’s cross was slid home by defender Baudry.
The O’s made a second substitution when Slade introduced Thursday’s match winner Yohann Lasimant in place of Simpson.
Frenchman Lasimant had the chance to make another big impact but his shot failed to find the target.
The home fans were getting increasingly frustrated at their side after their failure to take chances meant they had been pegged back by Orient.
Wolves pressed for a late winner but a superb rearguard performance from the O's defence kept them out and Slade's side returned to London with a precious point.
Wolves: Ikeme; Ricketts, Stearman, Batth, Ebanks-Landell; Henry (Griffiths, 71), McDonald, Price (Edwards, HT), Jacobs, Sako; Cassidy (Doyle, 85)
Subs not used: Hennessey, Evans, Golbourne, Bancessi
Leyton Orient: Larkins; Omozusi, Clarke, Baudry, Odubajo; Cox, James, Vincelot (Sawyer, HT), Bartley; Lisbie, Simpson (Lasimant, 71)
Subs not used: Lee, Gorman, Finney, Ling, Grainger
Referee: David Coote
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