Ross Embleton made three changes to the side that drew with Colchester a fortnight ago. Sam Ling and Craig Clay picked up injuries in the game against the U’s and as a result missed out on this one, with Dan Happe and Jobi McAnuff their replacements in the starting lineup. While top scorer Danny Johnson returned for his first start in over a month in place of Tristan Abrahams.
The O’s looked tidy in possession in the opening stages, but it was the visitors who had the first real opportunity of the game. Alex Hurst latched onto a misplaced clearance from Happe and forced Lawrence Vigoruoux into a decent save.
Orient’s first effort on goal came moments later as Happe connected well with McAnuff’s corner though the centre back was unable to keep his header on target.
With a new man in charge, Port Vale looked to press the O’s high up the field early on and they were also beginning to find some joy in wide areas. Hurst delivered a dangerous cross in from the left which Worrall headed over from an acute angle.
As he so often does, McAnuff sought to spark some life into his side. The former Jamaican international picked up the ball on the left and turned Worrall inside and out before delivering a teasing ball across the box that narrowly evaded everyone in red.
McAnuff was again involved ten minutes before the interval. The O’s skipper received the ball from Kemp and unleashed a fierce strike that Scott Brown in the Vale goal did well to keep a hold of.
Immediately after the restart, Darrell Clarke’s side took the lead. Worrall fired low into the net after Devante Rodney had dispossessed James Brophy in the Orient penalty area.
The O’s restored parity just after hour mark through Dan Kemp. The former West Ham man received the ball from Brophy in the box and hit a low rifled effort into the bottom corner to net his first for the club.
Embleton’s side went in search of another soon after. Freeman broke away down the right and fed McAnuff out wide, the midfielder then delivered a low cross into the box that eventually found Johnson, however the forward could only find the side netting with his snapshot.
It seemed as if the equaliser had opened the game up slightly, as the Valiants went looking for their second. Hurst found Rodney unmarked in the box and the former Salford man rattled the crossbar with his headed effort.
The end to end feel to the contest continued as the half wore on. This time it was the O’s on the attack, and for the first time in the game Johnson got in behind the Vale defence. His attempt to chip Brown was thwarted by the ‘keeper before his follow up attempt was well blocked by Mustapha Olagunju.
Embleton made his first change with ten minutes to go. Goal scorer Kemp the man to make way for Abrahams.
Orient looked lively in the closing stages and came so close to a second in the 81st minute. Conor Wilkinson made space for himself in a central position just outside the box and unleashed a curling strike that Brown did excellently to turn behind for a corner.
Into added time, Orient made one last stand. Some neat football saw Wilkinson eventually find Abrahams, who flashed a ball across the face which the Vale defence did well to clear for a corner.
From the resulting set piece, Happe nodded over from McAnuff’s delivery meaning the O’s were forced to settle for a third successive draw.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Akinola, Thompson, Happe, Brophy, Cissé, McAnuff, Freeman, Wilkinson, Johnson, Kemp (Abrahams 80’)
SUBS: Sargeant, Coulson, Widdowson, Turley, Dayton, Young
BOOKED: Brophy 48’, McAnuff 80’
GOALS: Kemp 63’
PORT VALE: Brown, Gibbons, Smith, Olagunju (Legge 73), Crookes, Worrall (Oyeleke 56’), Conlon, Joyce, Hurst (Montano 90’), Rodney, Guthrie
SUBS: Scott, Taylor, Montano, Swan, Cullen
GOALS: Worrall 47’
REF: Graham Salisbury