Orient's U18s got their season underway with a 1-1 draw at Peterborough United on Saturday Morning.
Lawrence Hammond was the hero to rescue a point for 10-men Orient away to Peterborough. Four minutes from time the forward pounced onto a loose ball to cancel out United’s stunning opening goal and avoid defeat on the first game of the season.
Wynford Marfo’s dismissal on the stroke of half time completely changed the course of the game as Orient were made to work for a draw. The defender brought down the opposition striker just outside of the box and the referee gave the No.6 his marching orders.
The resulting free-kick was smashed into the top corner as Orient found themselves 1-0 down at half time.
Peter Gill’s side started the game well and would have taken an early lead should Trialist A of stayed on side. Haxhiu picked out the winger with a pinpoint pass over the top, but as soon as he fired the ball low into the net, the linesman lifted his flag.
Chances were hard to come by as Orient knocked the ball around with confidence; however the game took a turn on the 30” minute mark, as both teams clashed on the half way line with the referee requiring assistance from his officials to calm the players down.
This sparked a change in momentum as United could sense a lapse of concentration, and twice came close to opening the scoring. Amedu fisted a powerful drive away from his goal, and only a minute later saw a fine curling effort cannon back off his left post.
The home side continued to push forward and get into good positions. A good ball in behind the defensive line saw the striker one on one with Amedu. Marfo managed to get back but all he could do was concede a free-kick. The referee was correct in suggesting the defender had stopped a clear goal scoring opportunity and showed the red card, before the free-kick was smacked home.
The second half-half started at a real fast pace and the home side will rue missing early opportunities to double their advantage. However Orient took these opening stages as a warning and soon became a lot more structured and disciplined at the back. The game began to slow down and the introduction of Jordon Adeyemi and Anthony Papadopoulous from the bench gave Orient fresh legs on the counter.
With the clock ticking The O’s punished Peterborough’s inaccurate finishing when Hammond stabbed home right at the death. Haxhiu tried his luck from distance and the keeper parried the ball to the right of his six yard box. The Posh defenders fell asleep, as that striker’s instinct from Hammond ensured that his team returned to East-London with a point.
Orient’s next fixture will be away against Stevenage on Saturday, August 25.
ORIENT: Samuel Amedu, Alfie Fleming, Jayden Sweeney, Ernold Haxhiu, Mason Hall, Wynford Marfo, Bradley McClenaghan, Brendon Shabani, Lawrence Hammond, Jeremie Sivi (Anthony Papadopoulous 80), Trialist A (Jordon Adeyemi 80)
SUBS: Rhys Bryne, Finlay Lovatt, Sonny Perkins