O's battle back from behind to maintain unbeaten runThe U18s came from behind for the first time this season as they extended their unbeaten run to draw 2-2 with Southend United.
Goals from Tristan Abrahams and Charles Clayden ensured a point for Richard Thomas’ side, and on another day they could have come away with a victory.
With eight minutes on the clock the O’s found themselves behind in a game for the first time this season, when Tom Clifford connected with a volley perfectly which gave goalkeeper Arthur Janata no chance of saving.
The O’s levelled the scoring on 25 minutes however, as a well-timed ball over the top from Steven Alzate found Tristan Abrahams who broke away from the defence, and took a touch before thrashing the ball into the back of the net to claim his 19th goal of the season.
There was a lengthy amount of stoppages at the end of half due to Southend’s Joe Mackenzie suffering a head injury early on and subsequently subbed off and replaced by Zak Pianim.
With the half deep into the added time he visitors were able to grab a second just before the interval as Erin Kinali managed to fire a shot into the bottom far corner despite pressure from Dan Happe.
It was the first time Orient had gone into half time behind in a game this season, but they responded strongly following the restart and won a penalty with just over 20 minutes remaining when substitute Sam Dalby was brought down in the box.
Dalby took on the responsibility himself and stepped up to the spot, though failed to convert the opportunity as the goalkeeper guessed correctly to deny an equaliser.
Despite the missed penalty the O’s continued to pressure the Southend defence and seven minutes later finally made it 2-2.
The move started when Dalby brilliantly pressurised the defence while in possession and was able to come away with the loose ball. After holding up the play the forward then thread a pass through to substitute and under-16 Charles Clayden, who finished calmly in off the far post.
With the match inside the final 10 minutes the O’s had multiple chances to take all three points.
Clayden had the chance to double his tally with a shot that went just over the bar before substitute Josh Koroma had an effort well saved from close range after he skilfully dribbled his way into the box.
A winning goal was not to be forthcoming however as the O’s had to settle for a point despite battling well from falling behind twice in the game.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Myles Judd, Toby Stevenson (Charles Clayden 62), Rian McLean, Dan Happe, Teddy Perkins, Steven Alzate, Andrew Camilo-Tayaca (Josh Koroma 57), Tristan Abrahams, Ruel Sotiriou (Sam Dalby 57), Pat Adamson
SUBS: Sam Roach, Mason Hall
SCORERS: Abrahams, Clayden