Kenny Jackett made one change to his starting XI that beat Bristol Rovers 3-1 at the Memorial Stadium last week with Shad Ogie coming in for Dan Happe. Jackett also brought Antony Papadopoulos onto the bench to replace Jayden Sweeney.
Orient dominated the first half but couldn’t find a goal to get themselves ahead at the break. The O’s first big chance came when Theo Archibald’s corner was cleverly flicked on by Harry Smith into a dangerous position, but neither Darren Pratley nor Omar Beckles could get a good foot on the ball and get a decent attempt on target.
Five minutes later Orient were on the attack again as Craig Clay struck the ball with the outside of his foot from the edge of the box. His effort didn’t have enough power to test Nathan Bishop in the Mansfield goal which he calmly collected.
Mansfield then had a chance to go ahead as Elliott Hewitt’s free-kick found its way into the O’s penalty area before Jordan Bowery struck at goal from close range which Lawrence Vigouroux excellently saved and then collected the follow up to keep the score level.
Leading marksman Harry Smith found himself on the end of Tom James’ cross just after the twenty minute mark but his header goes the wrong side of the post as The O’s continued to look for the opening goal of the match.
After the ball bounced up to him, Mansfield defender Hewitt looked to have handled the ball in the penalty area for Mansfield and despite the appeals from players and around the ground the ref waved play on.
The O’s almost snatched a goal just before the break as Shad Ogie’s throw-in was flicked on by Smith into a dangerous area where Aaron Drinan was waiting to volley the ball at goal, only for it to be deflected over the bar.
Orient started the second half how they finished the first, pressing Mansfield. Clay made an incredible through ball to Drinan who found himself one-on-one with Bishop, once he made his way into the box he opted for power, and blazed the ball wide of goal.
The visitors had their first effort of the second half on the hour mark when Ollie Clarke curled his shot from the edge of the box into the arms of Vigouroux.
That led to an incisive O’s counter-attack. Drinan found Archibald in space on the right wing with a great pass, but once Archibald made his way into the box, he dragged his shot wide of goal.
Orient then put together another fantastic move which saw Drinan play a beautiful ball into the box which found Tom James on his own 12-yards from goal, but his first time effort went straight at Bishop.
Substitute Ruel Sotiriou was involved again in Orient’s next attack, as he played a brilliant ball across the face of goal – which should have found the net as Smith and Archibald both missed the ball by a fraction. Archibald then stung the hands of Bishop with a fierce strike from 30-yards, as time was beginning to run out for Orient.
Things started to boil over as both players gathered by the corner flag after Tyrese Sinclair kicked out at Archibald. After consultation with his Assistant, referee Ben Speedie dismissed Sinclair, giving Orient a small boost with the clock winding down.
There was seven minutes of stoppage time and Orient thought they found the winner on two occasions.
The first saw striker Harry Smith head the ball down to Ruel Sotiriou, who then headed the ball towards goal which glanced the post.
With one final roll of the dice, it looked as if Theo Archibald may have won it. Archibald lashed a powerful left-footed volley towards goal, which was denied by the fingertips of Bishop.
That ended a frustrating afternoon for the O’s. Orient remain second in League Two and four points from top with a trip to Port Vale next week.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, James, Wood, Clay (Kyprianou 55’), Smith, Archibald, Mitchell, Drinan (Sotiriou 72’), Pratley, Beckles, Ogie
Unused Substitutes: Byrne, Happe, Kemp, Omotoye, Papadopoulos
Yellow Cards: Ogie 86’, Mitchell 86’, James 88’
Mansfield Town: Bishop, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, O.Clarke, Bowery, Maris (Charsley 54’), Johnson (Sinclair 67’), Hawkins, Oates (Burke 89’), Lapslie
Unused Substitues: Shelvey, Ward, J.Clarke, Law
Yellow Cards: Hewitt 56’, Oates 87’
Red Cards: Sinclair 85’