Match Report : 19/09/2015

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Leyton Orient remain at the top of League Two after drawing 1-1 at home to Wycombe Wanderers. 

Having struggled to create much throughout the first-half Orient went into the break a goal behind when Matt Bloomfield scrappily gave the visitors a 40th minute lead. 

The O’s were much improved after half-time however and Jay Simpson popped up with his sixth of the season to equalise on the 66th minute. 

Following three matches on the road Orient Head Coach Ian Hendon was forced into making one change to the side that started at Cambridge the week before. 

Dean Cox returned to the starting XI as he replaced Bradley Pritchard who was ruled out with a groin injury. 

Coming into the match both sides boasted impeccable records with the O’s yet to concede at home and Wycombe similarly on their travels, and it was to no surprise that both sides were restricted to shots from distance early on. 

It was the visitors who nearly made the breakthrough midway through the first-half though as Alex Cisak failed to connect with a punch but with the ball rolling towards the goal skipper Mathieu Baudry got back to clear the danger. 

The O’s were struggling to grab a foothold on the match and nearly gifted Wycombe the opener when a loose back-pass from Lloyd James fell to Garry Thompson but Cisak came out to smother his effort before parrying Stephen McGinn’s follow-up behind for a corner. 

Minutes later Dean Cox conjured up an attack for the hosts when he delivered a dangerous low ball from the right but Paul McCallum was unable to reach it at the back post before Sammy Moore’s shot was deflected over. 

Five minutes before half-time Wycombe did manage to make the breakthrough however as a ball from Joe Jacobson led to a scramble in the penalty area before Gozie Ugwu’s shot deflected off Matt Bloomfield and beyond the dive of Cisak. 

The goal was far from pretty but was enough to send the O’s into the half-time interval behind in a home match for the first time this season. 

Following the break Ollie Palmer came on for the O’s in place of Lloyd James as Orient reverted to a flat 4-4-2 with Jay Simpson and Cox out on the wings. 

Despite the change in formation Orient were continuing to struggle when getting in behind the Wycombe defence but good link up play between Palmer and McCallum saw the latter rifle a half-volley wide of the post. 

That was to be McCallum’s final piece of involvement however as two minutes later Blair Turgott replaced the forward. 

Cisak was again called into action on the hour however as a Jacobson free-kick was brought down by defender Aaron Pierre who turned before seeing a left-footed strike parried away. 

With 66 minutes on the clock Hendon’s substitutions proved to be a masterstroke as the O’s pulled level. 

Brilliant persistence from Palmer saw the O’s regain possession deep inside the Wanderers half and having shrugged off several challenges rolled the ball across to Turgott who then slid Simpson through one-on-one. 

The O’s top goalscorer then made no mistake as he took a touch before expertly bending the ball across Wycombe stopper Matt Ingram to send the home fans wild. 

Boosted by the equaliser the hosts immediately went in search of a second as Turgott first saw a shot touched behind for a corner before Moore volleyed wide from the edge of the area. 

Simpson then had the chance to bag his second of the afternoon on the 78th minute when picked out by a wonderful pass from Cox but despite rolling the ball through the legs of Jombati, his shot was tipped wide by the foot of Ingram. 

As the match entered the final minutes Wycombe saw penalty appeals waved away as Bloomfield went down under a challenge from Palmer but referee James Linington was having none of it. 

ORIENT: Cisak, Clohessy, Baudry (C), Essam, Shaw, James (Palmer HT), Payne, Moore, Cox, McCallum (Turgott 56), Simpson 

SUBS: Grainger, Dunne, Maguire, Moncur, Kashket 

GOALS: Simspon (66) 

BOOKINGS: Clohessy (13), Cox (65) 

WYCOMBE: Ingram, Harriman, Jombati, Pierre, Jacobson, Bean, McGinn, Bloomfield (C) (Kretzschmar 90), O’Nein, Thompson (Amadi-Holloway 79), Ugwu 

SUBS: Lynch, Banton, Sellers, Rowe, Donacien 

GOALS: Bloomfield (40) 

BOOKINGS: Harriman (55) 

Referee: James Linington 

Attendance: 5,946 (835)