Colchester United 1 Leyton Orient 1
JIMMY SMITH’S last-gasp equaliser denied Colchester United all three points as Leyton Orient picked up a deserved 1-1 draw at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
COLCHESTER UNITED were denied all three points as Jimmy Smith struck in injury-time to earn Leyton Orient a 1-1 draw at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Smith struck at the back post after some excellent wing work by substitute from George Porter saw the youngster weave his way into the box.
It was no more than the visitors deserved after a forceful second half performance, however Anthony Wordsworth’s first half volley, two minutes before the break, looked to have given the hosts all three points.
The visitors only had themselves to blame though for not winning this entertaining League One clash as Dean Cox and Charlie Daniels both missed gilt-edge chances in the second half for Russell Slade’s side.
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Colchester had the better of the first half, hitting the post through Ian Henderson and seeing Kayodin Odejayi drag a shot wide from Matt Heath’s knock down.
At the other end, former U’s hero Kevin Lisbie was denied a penalty after going over in the box and it was the veteran who spurned his side’s best chance of the first period, dragging a shot wide of the near post.
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The U’s lined up in a 4-2-1-3 formation with Pat Baldwin partnering Matt Heath at the heart of the United defence.
In attack, Kayodi Odejayi spearheaded a three-man forward line that also included Michail Antonio and Ian Henderson.
For the visitors, Lisbie and fellow former U, David Mooney played in attack, the former making his debut.
Colchester took the lead two minutes before the break and it was just what the U’s deserved.
The visitors got to work on clawing back parity in the game at the start of the second half but missed arguably the chance of the season on 47 minutes.
Lisbie cut in from the right and delivered a ball than ran across the six yard box and into the path of Daniels.
Daniels stuck out a foot to guide the ball goalwards but under pressure from Brian Wilson could only prod the ball on to the post from a yard.
Mooney then tested Mark Cousins from distance before Smith failed to connect properly with a deep cross from the right and hooked a hopeful close range effort over the bar.
Mooney then tested Cousins with a cross shot from the right but the U’s stopper was equal to the effort.
Orient then won a free kick on the edge of the box as they continued to pepper the home side’s goal and from the resultant free-kick, Mooney’s curling free kick was parried wide, low to his left, by Cousins.
Orient continued to dominate with the diminutive Cox a real threat with his deliveries from the left.
However, it was Colchester who almost scored against the run of play when Wilson’s deflected effort from the right was palmed away by Alnwick as it headed towards the top right hand corner.
Antonio then spurned a great effort to double the hosts’ advantage, firing over from 20 yards with the goal at his mercy after Alnwick had rushed out of his goal to deny Odejayi.
Substitute Porter replaced Lisbie for the visitors and he almost had an immediate impact, tricking his way into the box before seeing his cross cleared.
Henderson then went close with a long range shot at the other end, his effort leaving Alnwick flat-footed but going the wrong side of the post.
Smith then headed an effort wide before Cox somehow fired an effort horribly wide with the goal gaping, five yards out.
With time running out, Odejayi tested Alnwick before Smith struck at the death, converting from six yards after good work on the right by Porter.
Colchester: Cousins, Baldwin, Heath, O’Toole (Izzet 55), Antonio (Duguid 83), Odejayi, Henderson, Wilson, Wordsworth (Bond 77), James, Coker, Subs: Izzet, Bond, Eastman
Orient: Alnwick, Chorley, Cuthbert, Forbes, Cox, Lisbie (Porter 73), Daniels, Spring (Laird 79), Smith, Mooney, Clarke. Subs: Butcher, McSweeney, Odubajo