Beckles wasn’t the only player to make his debut for the O’s; a further five started the match, including Aaron Drinan, Paul Smyth and Captain, Darren Pratley.
It was the Orient skipper who got things going on a wet and windy afternoon in Salford. Orient’s right-back, Tom James, was the first to have a crack at goal, but his half-volley sailed over the bar after three minutes.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the first-half and could well have taken an early lead through Aaron Drinan, but the Irishman couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle, having rounded the on rushing goalkeeper.
The Salford shot stopper was soon forced into his save of the afternoon. A hanging cross from Dan Kemp, stood up nicely for Omar Beckles, but with no real pace on the delivery, the defender’s header proved to be an easy save for Tom King.
Salford forged a chance of their own on the half-hour mark. McAleny’s pull back to the edge of the box found Lund, whose effort with the outside of the foot whistled just wide.
Jackett’s team soon had the opening goal of the match. Paul Smyth’s fierce strike earned a corner kick for the men in all yellow, which provided Beckles’ goal. Salford failed to clear and a Darren Pratley shot was turned into the direction of Beckles, by King, and the centre-back hammered home.
Orient’s advantage lasted just nine minutes though. Matty Willock, who signed for The Ammies earlier in the week, picked the ball up 30-yardsnfrom goal and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner, levelling the scores at half-time.
HALF-TIME: Salford City 1-1 Leyton Orient
The hosts were far better following the restart and it didn’t take them long to test Lawrence Vigouroux. McAleny’s fizzing and dipping shot was no trouble for the ‘keeper, who read the flight of the ball and punched away.
Salford had the ball in the net again, thanks to Thomas-Asante, but the linesman flagged for offside, after the right-winger tapped in from an offside position. Theo Archibald’s introduction relieved early pressure on the O’s who slowly grew into the half. Omar Beckles again popped up in the opposition area, but this time he couldn’t hit the target after meeting James’ cross.
With 15 minutes left to play, Vigouroux stood strong at his near post to deny Thomas-Asante, who was the most threatening player after the break.
The O’s looked to create chances from open play, but despite a couple of tasty balls into the box, no one was on the end to apply the killer touch. Dan Kemp did try to force a later winner from a free-kick, but his curling strike bent the wrong side of the woodwork.
Gary Bowyer’s team controlled the ball in the closing moments of the match, however, the introduction of Jayden Sweeny and Ruel Sotiriou from the bench, injected enough energy into Leyton Orient – who dug in for a valuable point away from home.
FULL-TIME: Salford City 1-1 Leyton Orient
Salford: King, Touray, Lowe, Lund, Morris, Willock, Turnbull, McAleny, Shephard, Thomas-Asante, Henderson
Bench: Jeacock, Elliott, Burgess, Melhado, Golden, N’Mai, Loughlan
Goals: Willock 42’
Booked: Turnbull 79’
Orient: Vigouroux, James, Beckles, Happe, Wood (Sweeney 87’), Pratley, Clay (Archibald 50’), Kyprianou, Kemp, Drinan, Smyth (Sotiriou 89’)
Bench: Sargeant, Young, Ogie, Nkrumah
Goals: Beckles 33’
Booked: Pratley 88’
Ref: Andrew Kitchen
Att: 1,968 (475 Orient)