Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Leyton Orient 3 Port Vale 1

It was a slow start to the game on Saturday and Port Vale did most of the early running and put pressure on the Os from the start. This was perhaps a bit strange as Orient needed the points being in the League 1 relegation zone, whereas the visitors sit in mid table and could be excused for feeling that they were already on holiday. That said, the first real chance, after a couple of Port Vale corners that were easily dealt with fell to the home team. Marvin Bartlery sent a fine cross into theb box, but nobody was there to trouble Vale keeper Chris Neal. 

This was the story of Orient's first half, as both sides tried to hit each other on the counter attack. The away team looked more effective, where as orient looked like they had forgotten their striking boots and  Chris Neal looked like he was going to be hard to beat on the odd occassion where they found their footing. 

After the first 20 minutes of end to end, but ultimately ineffective football Vale started to turn the screw. Alex Cisak in goals for Orient had to make a spectacular save from Louis Dodds after a poor clearance and from the resulting corner Gary Sawyer cleared a Chris Robertson shot off the line. A couple of minutes later though, Vale were rewarded for their persistence when Chris Birchall raced down the right and fired his shot into the Orient goal.

The momentum was now clearly with the visitors and Mark Marshall almost made it 2-0 a minute later. Just after that the Orient defence had to make another goal line clearance when Tom Pope's header beat Cisak.

However, although Port Vale looked good going forward they didn't look quite as resilient in defence. Orient were able to show that they were still in the game, firstly when they beat the offside trap and Neal was forced into a brilliant save from David Mooney. Before the half was out Taylor and Dagnall both had good chances where the Vale defence was caught out, but Neal was equal to them. At the end of the half Vale looked like they might extend their lead if they could hit Orient on the break and the home team looked like they were going to find it difficult to hit the back of the net despite the chances that they had created.

Ten minutes into the second half and the game was turned on its head. Chris Dagnall was clear on goal and Chris Neal brought him down. The goalkeeper was given his marching orders and the Os were awarded a penalty. Sam Johnson's first job in goal for Vale was to try and stop a David Mooney penalty, he didn't and the Os equalised.

Vale were now looking ragged with just 10 men onn the pitch and Johnson didn't seem to have the same air of confidence that Neal had. He did make a save a minute later, but he perhaps should have caught the ball instead of palming it out, Dagnall should have scored, but he hit the post. The vistors seemed keen to give Orient every opportunity of staying up though, as Neill Collins took the opportunity on Orient's next attack to score a spectacular own goal to give the home team the lead.

Orient had all the pressure now and they should have taken the lead from another penalty when Johnson brought down Mooney. It wasn't a clear goal scoring opportunity this time though, so Vale avoided the indignation of having two keepers sent off in the same match and really gifting the game to the Os.

Vale were keen to not look like complete muppets though and resolutely attacked to try and find an equaliser. Nathan Clarke did well to clear from Ben Williamson shot and then Cisak had to be at his best to save a freekick from the same player. 

The Os were able to break from here though and Gianvinto Plasmati broke as the Vale defenders tried to get back. Plasmati found Dean Cox who did the rest of the running before pealing off a brilliant shot to make it 3-1 and give Orient all the points.


The point that changed the game: Chris Neal gets sent off after bringing down Chris Dagnall.


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