Heartbreak for Stevenage as Luke Prosser and Luke Norris’ first-half goals were cancelled out by Theo Archibald’s last-minute equaliser…
Boro travelled to East London, searching for just their second away victory of the season against fellow strugglers Leyton Orient in what appeared to be a vital contest. Paul Tisdale named an unchanged side for the first time since being appointed in late November.
The side were set out in a 4-2-2-2 formation with the same back line as last Saturday. Vancooten and Upson occupied the holding midfield role with Taylor and Westbrooke slightly higher up and a strike partnership of List and Norris.
Despite an even opening ten it was the hosts who had the first chance of the game. Ruel Sotiriou received the ball just inside the area, but his effort sailed wide of the post.
Boro answered back with a chance of their own five minutes later as Luther James-Wildin drove into the opposing half before laying it off to Jake Taylor on the right. With options in the box, the midfielder decided to take aim, but he dragged his shot just wide.
After twenty-five minutes Stevenage broke the deadlock. Boro were awarded a succession of corners which eventually led to Luke O’Neill keeping the play going and whipping in a delightful cross to the back post, allowing Luke Prosser to nod home.
Unfortunately for Tisdale’s men, Orient equalised on the half-hour mark. Ruel Sotiriou picked up the ball in the Boro area before striking high into the top corner from point-blank range to level the scoring.
A moment of magic soon occurred for Stevenage as Luke Norris put his side in front once again. Christy Pym’s goal kick bounced its way to the feet of Luke Norris whose first-time half-volley rocketed into the top corner from twenty yards out.
The remainder of the half was reasonably quiet with slight pressure from Orient as the referee blew for half-time, sending Boro into the break one goal ahead.
As the second half got underway, Orient were immediately on the front foot. Harry Smith attempted from just inside the Stevenage box but his low effort was spectacularly kept out by Christy Pym.
Despite Orient being on top for the first five minutes of the half, Boro created a chance of their own shortly after. Zain Westbrooke delivered the ball to Jake Taylor on the right whose effort was collected by Lawrence Vigouroux.
On the hour mark, Elliott List received a knock and was therefore replaced by the explosive attacker, Jamie Reid. This incident followed by Orient’s Connor Wood receiving treatment shortly after resulted in a rather large stoppage of play.
With just under fifteen minutes of the ninety to go, Boro were on top and looking to kill off the game. Luke Norris chested the ball down for Jamie Reid whose half volley was blocked and collected by Lawrence Vigouroux.
Stevenage came extremely close to getting their third goal with five of the ninety remaining. Terence Vancooten delivered the perfect free kick over to the back post with Luke Norris almost scoring his second of the afternoon, striking his volley just wide of the post.
As many had anticipated, the fourth official held up seven minutes of additional time to be played. The travelling Boro support continued to be heard loud and clear as the match reached its crucial moments.
In the ninety third minute, Orient grabbed their second equaliser of the game. The ball fell to Theo Archibald on the edge of the area whose effort sailed straight into the top left corner of the goal. The referee then blew for full-time as both sides walked away with a point. Boro put on a good display in front of an incredible away following but Archibald’s equaliser prevented the three points.
Attendance was 4558 with 507 Boro supporters.
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