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REACTION: 'It Was An Open Game'

22 September 2012

Manager felt point was fair from Saturday's game at Crewe

ORIENT drew a League match for the first time this season when they shared the points with Crewe on Saturday and manager Russell Slade thought it was a fair result.

The Londoners had to come from behind after Matt Tootle gave Crewe an early lead and Slade was happy with how his side overcame that tough opening to make it an even contest.

Martin Rowlands scored their equaliser in spectacular style, while both sides made a good effort of trying to claim all three points after the interval.

"It didn't look like it would be a draw," said the O's boss. "It was a very open game from the first minute to the last minute with both teams trying to win a football match.

"They started the better, which they have done in the past, but we got the goal back and in the second period it was end-to-end.

"We had a fantastic 20 minute spell when we were raining in crosses and couldn't quite convert, then they've come strong again in the last five minutes."

Crewe made a strong start when they travelled to Stevenage last week, netting twice inside the first 10 minutes, so Orient were well aware of the Railwaymen's ability to get off on the front foot.

So Slade was disappointed to see his team go 1-0 down with just 64 seconds on the clock.

He continued: "We shouldn't have allowed the cross to come in, early on we needed to be more professional, turn them and put the ball into their half to use the movement of our two strikers.

"We warned them about their quick start but we weren't switched on enough."

Rowlands responded promptly, firing the equaliser home on 19 minutes, although his involvement ended at the break with a minor injury.

Slade added: "It was a great goal. He hit it really cleanly from the edge of the box and it went right in the corner.

"I had to take him off with a slight hamstring injury. It's not massive but we didn't want to do any more damage and there's no problem sending Jimmy [Smith] on because he recaptured some of his old form on Tuesday.

"He slotted in there and it didn't upset the balance at all."

Someone who will definitely miss out for the next game is Anthony Griffith after he picked up a red card late on and Slade had no issue with referee Graham Salisbury's decision.

"They were both yellow cards, I have to say," he admitted. "I said to the referee that I have no qualms about it.

"Having got the first one he was a bit silly with the second one and that's cost him a game now."

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