Jobi McAnuff made three changes from the weekend defeat against Exeter City. Tunji Akinola, Joe Widdowson and Danny Johnson the men to make way for Sam Ling, Conor Wilkinson and Tristan Abrahams.
Prior to kick-off, tributes were paid to Glenn Roeder, who sadly passed away last month. Roeder made a total of 123 appearances for The O’s in two separate spells and also worked with Stevenage as a managerial advisor, he will be sorely missed.
Orient lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Dan Kemp playing as the number ten behind Abrahams. And it was the former West Ham man who had the first effort of the game for the home side. After finding space just outside the box, the 22-year-old let fly, but skewed his effort wide of the target.
The visitors first real strike on goal came from the inform Elliott List. The midfielder, who has three goals in his last five appearances, hit a venomous shot from range which Lawrence Vigouroux did well to parry away.
Kemp continued to look lively in his new role, as he picked up pockets of space in between the lines. Midway through the first half, he broke free of his marker and delivered a through ball into the path of Abrahams, however Jamie Cumming in the Boro goal did well to smother the ball before The O’s forward could reach it.
Alex Revell’s side almost took the lead just after the half hour mark. Vigouroux had to be on hand to deny Luke Norris, after he connected well with Tom Pett’s corner.
After two games out of the starting eleven, Wilkinson was looking to impress. In the 40th minute, the forward received the ball centrally and turned towards goal, the former Gillingham man then struck one narrowly wide of Cumming’s far post.
The first chance of the second half fell to the away side. Jamie Turley brought down List, which gave the opposition a free kick in a dangerous position. Ben Coker stepped up to take and curled one onto the crossbar, much to the relief of everyone in red.
Orient’s first attempt following the interval came from Kemp. Playing in a wider position, Nick Freeman broke away down the left and delivered a cross that found the former England Youth International, his strike was well blocked by the Boro defence though.
McAnuff made his first change in the 66th minute, as James Dayton replaced Freeman.
Soon after, The O’s almost shattered the deadlock through Kemp. The midfielder struck the upright with a curled effort from outside the box.
A second switch followed for the home side with Abrahams being replaced by top scorer Johnson.
The visitors had two chances in quick succession as the game entered the final stages. Both Pett and Elliot Osborne saw Vigouroux turn their efforts behind.
Johnson showed great movement to beat the offside trap with seven minutes to play, however faced one on one with the ‘keeper he was unable to find the target.
Deep into added time, The O’s were presented with a chance for a winner as Dayton was fouled in a wide right position. Kemp’s in-swinging delivery pinballed around the box but just wouldn’t fall to an Orient man, meaning the game ended goalless.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Ling, Turley, Happe, Brophy, Cissé, Freeman (Dayton 66”), Clay, Wilkinson, Abrahams (Johnson 69”), Kemp
SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Sweeney, Akinola, Kyprianou
BOOKED: Turley, Brophy
STEVENAGE: Cumming, Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Osborne (Hutton 86”), Newton, Vancooten, List (Aitchison 65”), Read, Pett, Norris (Stevens 86”)
SUBS: Vincelot, Prosser, Johnson, Lines
BOOKED: Newton, Coker
REF: Alan Young