National League: Leyton Orient 2 Chester 2

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10-man Leyton Orient grabbed a 2-2 draw at home to Chester after an eventful evening at the Matchroom Stadium.

 

The O’s took an early lead just moments into the match, as Macauley Bonne’s flicked on header sent the Orient fans into ecstasy.

 

Chester levelled shortly after, as James Akintunde’s delicate touch was deemed to have crossed the line. The visitors then went on to take the lead with a superb free-kick from Ross Hannah before the break.

 

Orient then found themselves down to 10-men, as Jamie Sendles-White was sent off as he brought down the Chester midfielder inside the box. Sam Sargeant came to the rescue and saved the resulting spot kick to end an eventful first half with Interim boss Ross Embleton also sent to the stands.

 

Jobi McAnuff got the equaliser in the second half with a brilliant strike to share the points, as Orient remain at arm’s length above the relegation zone.

 

Embleton named an unchanged eleven after Orient’s 1-1 home draw against top of the league Dover Athletic at the weekend, as Sargeant kept his place in goal with Charlie Grainger out injured after the warm-up on Saturday.

The O’s asserted the early pressure with a succession of corners and almost grabbed the opener, as James Daytons’ corner was met by Joe Widdowson but headed just over the bar.

 

Orient grabbed a deserved lead six minutes in, after a McAnuff cross was delicately guided into the far post by Bonne to get the Brisbane Road rocking.

 

Chester got a bizarre equaliser nine minutes later, as a deflected shot bounced goalwards and Akintunde guided the ball on target for Sargeant to palm onto the post and away but the linesman deemed the ball to have crossed the line.

 

Orient went in search of their advantage again as the ball was slotted into Bonne, he teed up Dayton to strike a fierce shot on target but was well stopped by Alex Lynch.

 

The visitors went in front five minutes from the break, after Hannah’s free-kick was bent around the wall and beat Sargeant down low to his right.

 

Just on the stroke of half-time, there was a few minutes of madness as Sargeant flew out his box miss timed his headed clearance which let Nyal Bell in on goal he was then brought down by Sendles-White inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. He then sent off Sendles-White with the O’s down to 10-men. Hannah then stepped up and his shot was superbly stopped by Sargeant to deny the away sides two goal cushion.

 

The evening got worse for the O’s as Embleton was sent to the stands in added time of the half with the Orient fans venting their frustration at the break.

 

In the second half, Orient looked comfortable down to 10-men and got their reward with an equaliser on the hour mark as McAnuff continued to surge forward and hit a shot from 25-yards into the bottom corner with Lynch rooted to the spot.

 

The hosts thought they had won it at the death, as Jake Caprices’ high cross into the box was challenged by substitutes Matt Harrold and then fell to David Mooney on the volley which he fired narrowly wide of the target as Orient settled for the point.

 

Leyton Orient Lineup: 12 Sam Sargeant, 2 Jake Caprice, 6 Jamie Sendles-White, 25 Dan Happe, 3 Joe Widdowson, 4 Alex Lawless (45), 23 Craig Clay (45), 27 James Dayton (82), 7 Jobi McAnuff, 26 James Brophy, 9 Macauley Bonne

 

Substitutes: 20 Dean Brill, 29 Mark Ellis, 31 Zain Westbrooke (45), 10 David Mooney (82), 24 Matt Harrold (45)

 

Chester Lineup: 1 Alex Lynch, 2 Andy Halls, 3 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (77), 4 Kingsley James, 5 John McCombe C, 10 Ross Hannah, 15 Nyal Bell, 17 Lucas Dawson, 20 James Akintunde, 31 Jordan Gough, 33 Ryan Rainey (81)

 

Substitutes: 32 Nathan Vaughan, 18 James Jones, 26 Llyod Marsh-Hughes, 34 Jerome Slew (81), 35 Myles Anderson (77)

 

Attendance: 3,352 (173)

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