McAnuff scorcher salvages Glovers pointJobi McAnuff’s 30-yard stunner secured a point for Leyton Orient as they drew 1-1 at home to Yeovil Town.
Francois Zoko had headed the Glovers in front on the stroke of half time, but substitute McAnuff managed to level the tie with a truly wonderful strike to claim a point.
In response to their defeat at Scunthorpe in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, O’s Head Coach Ian Hendon made three changes as Cole Kpekawa and Blair Turgott returned to the team while Scott Kashket was also handed his first start of the season.
In place of Clohessy Orient captain Mathieu Baudry moved across to right-back as the hosts lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Turgott and Bradley Pritchard on the wings.
Following a relatively slow start to the match it was Yeovil who looked the brighter, with John Sheehan shooting straight at O’s goalkeeper Alex Cisak before Matt Dolan curled a free-kick into the hands of the Australian.
Little seemed to be working for the hosts going forward during the opening stages and a Jack Payne shot from distance flew over the bar as their only effort on goal.
Yeovil had former Orient loanee Ryan Dickson at left-back and the Glovers defender showed a neat bit of skill to get beyond Mathieu Baudry midway through the first half before delivering a teasing ball into the box which was volleyed over by winger Iffy Allen.
With eight minutes of the half left to play Yeovil then had the ball in the back of the net through captain Darren Ward, though the goal was not to stand as the whistle had already been blown for handball by Francois Zoko.
Throughout the first half Orient supporters had been given very little to cheer about and as stoppage time approached their was to be more misery as Payne was stretchered off with what looked to be a serious injury.
The woe was not to end there however as with only ten O’s players on the pitch Yeovil took the lead in the second minute of stoppage time when Jean-Yves M’voto failed to clear a cross into the box and Zoko was on hand to head beyond Cisak from six-yards.
Ollie Palmer then came on in place of the absent Payne in what proved to be the final action of the half.
A strong reaction was needed following the break and with just under an hour played Palmer then had a chance to level the game when a cross into the box wasn’t dealt with by Glovers goalkeeper Chris Weale, but despite bringing the ball down on his chest the striker couldn’t get his shot away and the visitors cleared for a corner.
Top scorer Jay Simpson then blazed an effort over the bar moments later and with just over 20 minutes remaining curled an effort into the hands of Weale.
Despite Orient pushing forward it was the visitors who had the chance to put the game to bed two minutes later when Shaun Jeffers pulled the ball back for Allen but M’voto stood firm to bravely block the shot.
It was going to take something special for the O’s to level the score and with 16 minutes remaining substitute Jobi McAnuff delivered exactly that.
On the week of the new Star Wars film being released the force was certainly with the 34-year-old as he spectacularly arrowed an unstoppable strike from 30-yards into the top corner beyond the desperate dive of Weale.
The game was then neartly turned completely on its head a minute later when Baudry’s cross from the right was met by the head of Simpson but the striker could only glance his effort the wrong side of the goal.
McAnuff’s introduction had certainly swayed the game in the hosts favour and the winger nearly reproduced the heroics of his first goal on the 81st minute, but his brilliant effort from distance curled just wide of the far post.
Victor Adeboyejo was then thrown on for the final five minutes in place of Turgott and the youngster then earned a corner which was whipped in by Lloyd James but Simpson was unable to poke Palmer’s header beyond Weale.
As four minutes stoppage time was then shown by the fourth official McAnuff drilled in a low ball across the box for Bradley Pritchard, but the midfielders shot at the near post was parried by Weale before Palmer’s follow up attempt was blocked.
Yeovil then responded by racing straight down the other end with Zoko before substitute Ryan Bird dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area.
A winning goal was not to be forthcoming for either side however as Orient registered their fourth successive 1-1 draw in League Two.
ORIENT: Cisak, Baudry (C), M’voto, Kpekawa, Shaw, Turgott (Adeboyejo 85), Payne (Palmer 45+3), James, Pritchard, Kashket (McAnuff 55), Simpson
SUBS: Grainger, Essam, Dunne, Moncur
GOALS: McAnuff (74)
BOOKINGS: Pritchard, James (87)
YEOVIL: Weale, Roberts, Ward (C), Sokolik, Dickson, Allen (Bird 78), Sheehan (Tozer 78), Dolan, Smith, Jeffers, Zoko (Lacey 90+4)
SUBS: Krysiak, Compton, Beck, Maghoma
GOALS: Zoko (45+2)
BOOKINGS: Sokolik (61), Sheehan (76)
REFEREE: Lee Swabey
ATTENDANCE: 4,686 (280)