Many thanks to Ben Staerck’s 86th-minute equaliser, the O’s managed to salvage a point against Stevenage with a 2-2 draw.
After a disappointing first half, where the O’s conceded in the 26th and 42nd minute, Brian Saah’s side accurately portrayed their fighting character in the second half, as they converted twice to level the scores.
As the referee blew his whistle to signify the start of this wet and windy fixture in Stevenage, both teams looked keen to score early on.
Orient’s man between the sticks, Rhys Byrne, demonstrated his class after 22 minutes, which temporarily denied Stevenage with the opening goal. As the Stevenage attacker bared down on goal, he unleashed a shot which seemed destined for the back of the net but Byrne’s out-stretched leg pushed the ball past the post.
However, the home side managed to convert minutes later.
In what was an impressive solo effort, the Stevenage midfielder received the ball from deep and dribbled past multiple Orient defenders before slotting the ball past Byrne to provide the home side with the lead.
The O’s struggled to find any sort of rhythm following Stevenage’s opener and the home side managed to double their lead just prior to half-time.
From a wide position, a Stevenage man displayed some quick feet to beat his defender and drove towards the byline. The winger then cut his cross back to the striker waiting in the six-yard box, who converted from close range.
As the referee called an end to the first half, Saah took the opportunity to speak to his players and ultimately demanded a more positive performance in the second half. As the two teams emerged for the remaining 45 minutes, the O’s had a point to prove.
After 55 minutes, Jaheim Whyte got the O’s off the mark and kickstarted the comeback. Following a stray pass, Whyte latched onto the loose ball and sprayed a pass wide to Jephte Tanga. The Orient wide man then delivered a ball back into the penalty area which found the target man, who converted with a low-driven shot.
Following Whyte’s goal, the O’s continued to push for an equaliser and it eventually came just four minutes from time. As the ball bobbled amongst the penalty area, with Stevenage unable to clear, Ben Staerck established his authority on the situation and fired the ball past the Boro goalkeeper, which levelled the scores.
Following this draw, the O’s have now picked up four points in their last two outings. The Academy side will now endure a two-week Christmas break and will next be in action at the dawn of 2021.
Leyton Orient Starting XI: Byrne, Marfo, Eaton, Solomon, Sodje, Sanders (Staerck 60′), Frempong, Ifeanyi, Tanga (Mirza 87′), Whyte, Lovatt (Reindorf 87′)