A hard-fought top of the table clash ends goalless in East London...
Stevenage travelled to East London for a top of the table clash as league leaders Leyton Orient stood in the way of another three points in Sky Bet League Two. Steve Evans made just two changes from his side’s last league game with Terence Vancooten and Danny Rose replacing Dean Campbell and Jamie Reid.
The atmosphere was electric in the early stages as Boro looked on fire. Luke Norris got the game’s first chance as his powerful effort deflected just over the bar.
Ten minutes later Leyton Orient were growing into the game and took Stevenage by surprise on the counter attack. Charlie Kelman burst forward before taking aim, but his deflected effort was superbly kept out by Taye Ashby-Hammond.
Orient continued to look quick in attack and were catching Boro off guard in transition. Paul Smyth took on Luther James-Wildin and Dan Sweeney before firing just wide of the post.
Just before the half hour mark, Orient earned themselves a free kick after Jordan Roberts’ late challenge outside the area. Tom James stepped up to take but the wall did their job as the ball deflected out for a corner.
The East London side were managing to carve out the best chances in the first half and came extremely close to opening the scoring eight minutes before the interval. A superb ball was played over the top to Theo Archibald, but Ashby-Hammond was quick off his line to make himself big and produce a vital save.
The remainder of the first half was quiet, with Luther James-Wildin picking up Boro’s first yellow card of the afternoon in the process.
As the second half got underway, Boro were on the front foot and earned themselves a free kick after Danny Rose was dragged down. Jake Reeves whipped the ball into the box, but Carl Piergianni’s header flew past the post.
A smart free-kick routine almost worked out perfectly for Stevenage just under ten minutes later. Instead of sending the ball into the box, Jake Reeves played Jordan Roberts through who took it first time on the half-volley, but Lawrence Vigouroux denied.
Leyton Orient had a golden opportunity on the hour mark. The ball was crossed low into the box from the right-hand side as Darren Pratley fired the ball over the bar.
Orient came close again five minutes later as a corner was sent into the area and headed to Darren Pratley who could only head into Ashby-Hammond’s hands.
Steve Evans made three substitutions with just over ten minutes remaining. Luther James-Wildin, Luke Norris and Danny Rose made way for Kane Smith, Jamie Reid and Jake Taylor.
The final ten minutes were very tight with both sides giving it a go. Alex Gilbey fired over the bar before, up the other end, Idris El Mizouni had a good chance from the edge of the area, but his effort flew over.
Four minutes were added on after the initial ninety as the game began to slow down in pace. Despite a hard-fought battle from the top two teams in the league, nothing could make the difference and the points were shared.
Attendance: 8644 including 1044 away supporters.