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By Trevor Davies
, Leyton Orient correspondent, at Brisbane Road
Saturday, April 21, 2012
League One: Leyton Orient 2 Yeovil Town 2
Two goals in the last eight minutes saw Yeovil battled back to grab a point and shatter Orient’s victory hopes.
Kevin Lisbie had put Orient two-up and a victory would have almost assured them of League One survival.
But first Andrew Williams and then Jon Obika, in the second minute of stoppage time, hauled Yeovil level.
With Wycombe losing at Charlton, the O’s go into the final two games of the season with a four-point cushion, but Russell Slade’s side are still looking anxiously over their shoulders.
After the game the O’s boss admitted: “We have not dealt with two long balls, there has been a lot of long balls we have head to deal with all afternoon from a very direct Yeovil side.
“But unfortunately there were two occasions where we have not dealt with either the first phase or the second phase.
“I thought it was a good professional performance up until then, but unfortunately we didn’t seem to be able to keep the ball out of the net.”
The O’s boss was unhappy with the Yeovil winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
“It wasn’t good enough. It’ was a poor goal to concede, we should be throwing our bodies on the line. We should have been marking people at crucial times of the game, he said.”
O’s finished the game a point further from the drop following Wycombe’s defeat, but that was little consolation for Slade. “We didn’t want to rely on anybody else, we wanted to be professional and I thought we were. I thought it was going to be a professional performance, but we don’t do anything easy here and we are going to have to go to Hartlepool next week and make sure we get something from there.
“We just have to keep going and see if we can find a couple more points to get out of this situation.
“The support was good all afternoon and I thought we had given them the performance that everybody desires, but unfortunately we let it slip in the last few minutes.”
In a frenetic first half both sides carved out chances and rattled the woodwork.
O’s looked to have settled, with Leon McSweeney coming back into the side after missing the last six matches with a calf injury and filling the problematic left-back birth, while Dean Leacock and Matt Spring patrolled the centre of midfield, with Adam Reed playing wide on the right.
Dean Cox had the first shot of the game, but Yeovil should have taken the lead on eight minutes when Jonathan Franks fired in an effort that Jamie Jones did well to tip onto the bar and Obika fired the rebound over.
But O’s also rattled the woodwork on 15 minutes when Lisbie smashed a shot from the edge of the box, which Sam Walker touched onto the bar.
Sixty seconds late Jones made a great save from Andrew Williams, who should have done better from five yards.
Cox and McSweeney had efforts for Orient before the home side broke the deadlock on 23 minutes when Cox crossed from the left and Lisbie headed home his 11th goal of the season.
As the game continued to flow, Cox and Syam Ben Youssef had chances to extend the advantage, but Obika should have levelled things up when he sprung the offside trap, but rolled his shot wide.
In a breathless 45 minutes O’s went close six minutes before the break when Lisbie and Jamal Campbell-Ryce combined and set up Reed, whose effort was saved by Walker.
After the break chances were fewer, but Paul Huntington almost levelled when he headed wide following a corner.
Orient looked increasingly nervous and dropped deeper as the half progressed, but they appeared to have wrapped up the points 18 minutes from time when an excellent run and cross by Campbell-Ryce down the left resulted in Lisbie heading home from close range.
But O’s pressed the self destruct button and with the ball bouncing around in the area, Sam Williams smashed the ball into the net from six yards to cut the deficit on 82 minutes.
Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, O’s could only half clear a corner, but the ball was knocked back in and Obika headed home in splendid isolation at the far post to ensure some more nail-biting moments ahead.
Leyton Orient: Jones 7; Ben Youssef 6, Chorley 7, Forbes 6, McSweeney 6; Reed 6 (Smith 90 mins), Leacock 7, Spring 6, Cox 6; Campbell-Ryce 7 (Andrew 90 mins); *Lisbie 8. Subs: Porter, Taiwo, Mooney.
Yeovil Town: Walker, Ayling, N’Gala, Huntington, Blizzard, Williams, D’Eath (Afgard 75 mins), Franks, Grounds, Hinds, Obika. Subs: Stewart, Edgar, Haynes-Brown, Matthews.
Yeovil bookings: Ayling (35 mins foul).
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 4,888 (inc 440 Yeovil fans)