Leyton Orient grabbed a 1-1 draw in Ross Embleton first interim game in charge against the league leaders Dover Athletic at The Matchroom Stadium.
Dover took a first half lead through Nortei Nortey’s strike from close range to maintain their momentum at the top of the National League.
Orient got their deserved equaliser in the second half, as Craig Clays’ curling effort found the back of the net with Orient still three points off the relegation zone.
Ross Embleton took temporary charge of Orient after the departure of Steve Davis and made five changes to the side that lost 2-1 away to Ebbsfleet United.
Macauley Bonne returned for the O’s from International duty with Zimbabwe, as Jobi McAnuff captained the side after a return from a toe injury. Joe Widdowson reclaimed his place after he served his suspension and Craig Clay returned to the lineup. With David Mooney, Matt Harrold, Mark Ellis and Zain Westbrooke were all side-lined.
Charlie Grainger was injured in the warm up, which left Sam Sargeant to step up to the mark for his first game of the season.
Within the opening minute, James Alabi was slipped through one-on-one with just Sargeant to beat, after a mistake from Joe Widdowson but he superbly denied the visitors the lead.
Orient then surged straight up the other end on the counter attack and from the resulting corner Dayton’s whipped in ball was just headed over by Bonne.
The hosts had their first real opportunity, as Dan Happe surged forward played a lovely ball to Bonne who laid the ball to Clay to slide in James Brophy who cut it back for Clay but could not guide the ball on target.
Alabi again the threat for Dover, as the ball was lifted over the defence and he was in a footrace with Widdowson but blazed his shot over from inside the box.
Dover then broke the deadlock 23 minutes in, as the ball was cut back to Nortey who fired first time into the far corner to take an early advantage.
A long stoppage halted the match, as Dover’s Josh Passley crashed into the advertising hoardings, recovered but then went down in the next phase of play and had to be substituted for Lou Fazakerley.
In the second half, Dover had the first opportunity of the half as Connor Essam rose for the cross but miss-timed his header.
Orient somehow could not get the ball over the line, as Bonne with the first header was palmed away by Mitch Walker and then Happe’s header was cleared off the line as Dover scrambled the ball clear eventually.
The hosts then grabbed that elusive equaliser 13 minutes from time, after great work from Clay to create the chance laid it to Dayton who returned the pass cut back inside and curled his shot into the far corner.
Orient thought they had won it with five minutes to go, as Dayton’s ball to the far post was met by Bonne who thought the ball had crossed the line but was clawed away by Walker, as Orient settled for a point.
Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Charlie Grainger, 2 Jake Caprice, 6 Jamie Sendles-White, 25 Dan Happe, 3 Joe Widdowson, 4 Alex Lawless (65), 23 Craig Clay, 27 James Dayton, 7 Jobi McAnuff (C), 26 James Brophy, 9 Macauley Bonne
Substitutes: 12 Sam Sargeant, 29 Mark Ellis, 31 Zain Westbrooke, 10 David Mooney, 24 Matt Harrold (65)
Dover Athletic Lineup: 1 Mitch Walker, 2 Josh Passley (45), 3 Femi Ilesanmi, 4 Giancarlo Galliifuoco, 5 Manny Parry, 6 Connor Essam, 8 Mitch Brundle (C), 11 Mitchell Pinnock, 17 Ryan Bird (76), 18 Nortei Nortey, 19 James Alabi
Substitutes: 7 Kane Richards, 12 Lou Fazakerley (45), 16 Ejiro Okosieme, 23 Kadell Daniel (76), 25 Anthony Jeffrey
Attendance: 4,548 (537