Dean Cox’s stunning 96th minute free-kick claimed a dramatic point for Leyton Orient at Northampton Town.
A lacklustre first half saw the teams go into the break goalless but it was the heroics of Cobblers goalkeeper Adam Smith that denied Orient from going in front with a string of top saves.
Northampton then looked to have stolen the victory when Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed home on the 93rd minute but Cox was to claim a share of the spoils in the final seconds with a beautiful free-kick from 25-yards.
For the trip to Sixfields Orient Head Coach Ian Hendon made two changes to the side that started against Wycombe.
As a result of his impressive showing Ollie Palmer was handed his first League start in place of Paul McCallum who dropped to the bench, while Bradley Pritchard returned as Lloyd James was named among the substitutes.
The hosts came flying out of the blocks as the won several corners in quick succession but it was Ollie Palmer who had the first chance of the match as he headed a Sean Clohessy cross over the bar.
Despite the fast-paced opening few minutes the match soon settled down as Orient lined up with a 4-1-3-2 formation, which saw Jack Payne sit just in front of the defence.
As the 20 minute mark approached Dean Cox then led a counter attack as he burst into the Cobblers half before delivering a cross on to the head of Jay Simpson but his effort was deflected behind.
With five minutes of the first half remaining Simpson squandered a rare chance as he got up acrobatically to volley Cox’s cross over the bar with Cobblers goalkeeper Adam Smith planted.
Zander Diamond then had a chance to grab the opener just before the break but he could only direct his header from a Nicky Adams free-kick wide as the half ended goalless wither neither goalkeeper having to make a single save.
Just like the first half it was Northampton who started the quicker and Dominic Calvert-Lewin latched on to a ball forward but as he attempted to round O’s stopper Alex Cisak the Australian did enough to force him wide before Clohessy cleared any remaining danger.
Simpson was looking the most threating for Orient and following a Cox through ball the striker had an opportunity to bag his seventh of the season but instead of shooting opted to cut back before Smith came out and smothered the ball at his feet.
Smith was then called into action immediately after as he produced a stunning stop to keep out Palmer’s close-range header after the striker had got on the end of Jack Payne’s lofted ball towards the far post.
The Cobblers keeper was having a stunning couple of minutes between the sticks as less than a minute later he pulled off an even better save to get down low and keep out Connor Essam’s header from a Sammy Moore cross.
The O’s were continuing to peg Northampton back into their own half and with 60 minutes gone Moore had the opportunity to open his account for the club as he raced on to Palmer’s knockdown but the midfielder could only poke his shot down the throat of Smith.
With Orient continuing to press forward Blair Turgott came on for Moore and the winger was involved in an attack straight away as a Cox cross came off of his foot to drop towards Mathieu Baudry who became the latest player to be denied by a brilliant save from Smith.
The hosts had their goalkeeper to thank yet again moments later when Cox picked out Simpson unmarked to his left but his curled effort was parried away.
Smith was proving to be in sensational form and with less than 20 minutes to play he continued to deny the O’s by this time incredibly thwarting Simpson from point-blank range.
Cisak had yet to be called into action in the Orient goal but on the 75th minute the O’s stopper stood firm to deny substitute Alfie Potter with his feet.
As the match entered the final ten minutes substitute Paul McCallum knocked the ball back for Payne on the edge of the penalty area but the midfielder’s shot was well held by Smith.
McCallum was to feature for less than ten minutes however as the forward landing awkwardly when chasing down a long ball and appeared to suffer a serious injury resulting in him being stretchered off.
Having dominated throughout the whole of the second half the O’s were then dealt the cruelest of blows as in added time Northampton took the lead.
Joel Byrom delivered a corner from the right and striker Calvert-Lewin rose to emphatically head home what looked to be the winner.
A defeat was the last thing Orient deserved and with seconds remaining got their reward.
Having been awarded a free-kick 25-yards from goal the O’s longest-serving player Cox was to be the hero as he curled home a truly wonderful strike beyond the reach of Smith to claim a point and send the travelling fans wild.
NORTHAMPTON: Smith, Furlong, Diamond, Brisley, Buchanan (C) (O’Toole HT), D’Ath (Potter 57), Watson, Byrom, Adams, Hoskins (Richards 57), Calvert-Lewin
SUBS: Clarke, Horwood, Lelan, Hackett
GOALS: Calvert-Lewin (90+3)
ORIENT: Cisak, Clohessy, Baudry (C), Essam, Shaw, Payne, Pritchard, Moore (Turgott 67), Cox, Palmer (McCallum 77 (Kashket 87)), Simpson
SUBS: Grainger, Dunne, James, Moncur
GOALS: Cox (90+6)
BOOKINGS: Baudry (45)
REFEREE: Michael Bull
ATTENDANCE: 5,061 (800 away)