The O’s youngsters were held to a 1-1 draw at the weekend when they came up against an unbeaten Dagenham & Redbridge side.
Youth Team Coach Danny Webb made three changes following last weekend’s defeat at Stevenage, as Alfie Fleming, Mikhail Hemans and Sam Dalby were re-introduced to the starting XI in the place of Luca Carter-Henry, Jaedon Phillips and Aaron Rowe.
A lively start to the game saw Dagenham & Redbridge create the first chance within minutes of kick off. A ball crossed in from the right was blazed over the bar from three yards out by the Daggers striker.
Following the chance the O’s went straight up the opposite end, and Amin Benyoucef’s beautiful 15-yard though ball split the Daggers defence and rolled in to the path on Mikhail Hemans who got to the ball first but the goalkeeper made himself big enough to block the shot.
Arthur Janata was tested for the first time midway through the opening half, when a Daggers midfielder found space to curl a goalbound effort towards goal but the O’s ‘keeper was equal to the effort and palmed the ball behind.
Chances were being created thick and fast in what was an end-to-end game, but neither side could find quality needed to beat the keepers in the final third.
However, the O’s almost opened the scoring when a quick counter allowed Charles Clayden to play a first-time ball to Ruel Sotiriou who looked to be in on goal with just the ‘keeper to beat, until the Daggers skipper raced back and tackled well. to clear the ball from danger.
Another chance for Orient saw Clayden make a darting run towards the box before he picked out Sotiriou, who spun his man and stung the hands of the Daggers goalkeeper with a low drive just before the break.
Early in the second half, Teddy Perkins rose highest to meet a superb Benyoucef free-kick but the captain’s header bounced just wide of the post.
With the hour mark approaching, Benyoucef was then fouled by Michael Agboola who retaliated to the decision and was sent off for his actions.
Minutes later, Orient made the most of their man advantage when Benyoucef’s delivery to the near post found Perkins who smartly tapped home from close range.
Despite going down to ten men, the Daggers pressed looking for an equaliser and found it with 15 minutes left to play when substitute Dylan Florence got on the end of a cross had time to take a touch and bring the ball down before poking the ball past Janata.
Both sides pressed for the winning goal in the remaining minutes, and the O’s nearly claimed all three points when Sotiriou picked up the ball in the box and beat two men but the striker’s effort was blocked by the keeper at his near post.
The O’s are on the road again next weekend, when they travel to Barnet as they look to build on Saturday’s draw.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Andrew Camilo-Tayaca, Teddy Perkins (C), Toby Stevenson, Alfie Fleming (Brendon Shabani 82), Ernold Haxhiu, Amin Benyoucef, Charles Clayden, Mikhail Hemans, Ruel Sotiriou, Sam Dalby
SUBS: Samuel Amedu, Hector Kyprianou, Aaron Rowe, Luca Carter-Henry