REPORT: Orient 1 Oldham 1

access_time 9 years ago
Orient closed out a successful season with a 1-1 draw against Oldham at the Matchroom Stadium to cement seventh spot in the table.
In a match that had little riding on it for both sides, the O’s took an early lead through a glorious Jimmy Smith strike after good work from Moses Odubajo and Charlie MacDonald.
However, neither side really played to their potential and Oldham grabbed an equaliser moments into the second half through Kirk Millar.
Orient manager Russell Slade made only two changes from the side that won so impressively at Coventry last week, with experienced duo Martin Rowlands and Lee Cook dropping out for Lloyd James and Charlie MacDonald.
It was the visitors who made the brighter start and the ever-dependable Jamie Jones had to be sharp to rush out and block at the feet of Kirk Millar after Oldham found a way past the Orient backline within the first minute.
Within three minutes, the O’s defence struggled to clear their lines following a goalmouth scramble which saw Jose Baxter’s claims for a penalty waved away by referee Frederick Graham. 
However, on nine minutes Orient were in front. Some good play between Moses Odubajo and MacDonald saw the striker cleverly let the ball run over his head for the onrushing Jimmy Smith to smash home on the half-volley.
Back came Oldham and within a matter of minutes they threatened once more when a fierce cross-cum-shot from Lee Croft flew over the bar with a sprawling Jones beaten.
On 16 minutes, the Matchroom Stadium was treated to a rarity when Oldham keeper Dean Bouzanis was pulled up for a passback but the indirect free-kick eventually struck by Gary Sawyer was blocked.
Latics keeper Bouzanis was having a jittery afternoon and he certainly was not being helped by his defenders, who throughout the first half treated him to a number of under-hit back-passes.
On the 30 minute mark, a sweeping Orient move ended with Sawyer’s cross to the far past just evading the outstretched boot of Odubajo.
As the conditions turned wet in E10, it was Jones’ turn to struggle with the ball as the O’s custodian almost allowed a routine cross through his fingers before fortunately falling onto the ball.
In a poor end to the half, Lisbie attempted what would have been a spectacular half-volley over the well-off-his-line Bouzanis but could only find the back of the stands.
The O’s had a slow start to the second period and it showed within a minute when Christian Montano escaped down the left hand side for the visitors and his cross was tapped in off the post by Millar.
That blow seemed to set the hosts back a little and the next 10 minutes saw Slade’s men struggle to gain a real foothold on the match. 
However, the O’s could have gone ahead again when a delicious Cox free-kick met the head of Smith only for his effort to prove too close to Bouzanis.
That chance seemed to spark Orient back into life though in truth, the match lacked any real urgency on occasion, perhaps understandaby so with both teams have little to play for.
In a second half of very few opportunities at either end, it was Oldham who had the next sight of goal with just over 20 minutes only for full-back Connor Brown to misskick completely.
The O’s were continuing to come forward and having combined so well for the opening goal, MacDonald and Smith almost fashioned another opportunity only for to be blocked off by the Oldham defence.
MacDonald was having an influential game and with just under 10 minutes to play, his flick on fell to the feet of Cox, who took a touch to steady himself but could only hammer  his shot against the outside of the post.
With the clock ticking down, the Latics came close to grabbing a winner when first Robbie Simpson’s rasping drive from distance was tipped over by Jones before from the resulting corner, Montano flashed an effort wide of the post but it ended all square as the O’s took to the pitch in E10 for a lap of honour.
ORIENT: Jones; McSweeney (Cook 73), Clarke, Vincelot, Sawyer; Odubajo, Smith, James (Lee 81), Cox; Lisbie, MacDonald
SUBS: Butcher, Vanderhyde, Georgiou, Rowlands
GOALS: Smith 9
BOOKINGS: Vincelot 80
OLDHAM: Bouzanis, Brown (Truelove 79), M’Voto, Belezika, Montano; Gosset (Reid 76), Smith, Croft (Simpson 70), Winchester, Millar; Baxter
SUBS: Cisak, Byrne, Cooper, Iwelumo
GOALS: Millar 46
BOOKINGS: Croft 55
ATTENDANCE: 5,191 (667 Oldham)
REFEREE: Frederick Graham