Orient were held to a goalless draw with Hartlepool United afternoon at The Breyer Group Stadium.
James Dayton, Josh Koroma and James Alabi came close but 10-man Orient couldn’t find the back of the net in time.
Orient got the game underway at a packed Breyer Group Stadium in the pleasant October sunshine.
Niko Muir of Hartlepool had the first effort of the game but the strike from distance flew in to the many Orient fan’s behind Dean Brill’s net.
James Dayton was first to try his luck for the O’s, the midfielder found space 30-yards from goal and with no options struck goal-wards but his shot was over the target.
The Orient winger found space in the middle of the park again moments later, but this time the ball was on his wrong foot and he fired over.
Orient enjoyed large spells of possession inside the opening half, James Brophy linked up well with Macauley Bonne who sent a snapshot wide of the post after 20 minutes of play.
Hartlepool’s attack was quickly turned in to defence when the O’s countered with Brophy leading the charge. The winger cut the ball back for the late run of Bonne whose touch set up the perfect shot for Craig Clay to run on to but the midfielders strike missed the target by inches.
As one addition minute of play was announced, Clay’s strike in to the ground bounced wide of the target to see an end to the first 45 minutes at The Breyer Group Stadium.
The O’s started the second half in similar fashion to the first, Brophy’s drilled cross flashes in front of James Alabi’s late run.
Moments short of the hour mark things took a bad turn for the O's when Joe Widdowson was shown a straight red for a late challenge and Dayton was booked for his protests.
Despite having a man less than the visitors, Orient continued their search for an opener Ekpiteta’s good foot-work earned Orient a free-kick from 25-yards which McAnuff curled just over the net.
Moments later, Clay’s perfectly timed through ball found the run of Alabi but the angle was against the forward who could only force ‘keeper Loach in to a good save.
Clay was involved again seconds later when this time it was Brophy’s good run, but the winger’s shot was tame and missed the near post target.
Orient were still on top when the two central defenders linked up in the box, Josh Coulson headed the ball across for Ekpiteta whose header forced an excellent save from Loach in the visiting net.
Six additional minutes were added announced as the O’s desperately searched for the winner but Hartlepool sub Connor Newton smashed the ball against the post from four yards after a scramble in the box before the game played out level.
Football for a Fiver returns on Saturday 17th November when Bromley are our visitors and all tickets for this game are just £5. Meanwhile our next game here at The Breyer Group Stadium is on Saturday 27th October when the O’s take on Havant & Waterlooville in the Vanarama National League. Regular tickets in advance range from £1 for Under 11s in the Baskin Robbins Family Stand to £18 for adults in the East and West Stands. These can be purchased now at www.onlyoneorient.com, in-person at the O’s ticket office (open 9.30am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday) or by phone on 020 8926 1010.
ORIENT: Brill, Widdowson, Coulson, McAnuff, Clay, Bonne, Dayton (Harrold 80), Judd (Ling 72), Brophy (Koroma 72), Ekpiteta, Alabi
SUBS: Sargeant, Lawless
BOOKED: Judd (50), Dayton (58), McAnuff (64)
SENT OFF: Widdowson (58)
HARTLEPOOL: Loach, Kioso, Kitching, Magnay, Noble (Newton 88), Donaldson, Muir, Woods (Hawkes 81), Davies (C), Featherstone, James (Dinanga 83)
SUBS: Hawkins, Richardson
BOOKED: Kioso (25), Woods (63), Davies (65)
REFEREE: Adrian Quelch
ATTENDANCE: 6,877 (594)