Leyton Orient and Eastleigh play out National League stalemate in the snow
PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 17 March 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
National League: Eastleigh 0 Leyton Orient 0
Leyton Orient played out a stalemate with Eastleigh in the National League in snowy conditions at Ten Acres.
Justin Edinburgh called for his team to show a reaction after more midweek disappointment and they managed to earn their first clean sheet in almost a month.
The point does little for O’s hopes of finishing in the top-half though, as they continue to stumble towards the end of the season.
Edinburgh made three changes to the team which lost 1-0 at home to Torquay United on Tuesday.
Macauley Bonne dropped to the bench while Jake Caprice and Lamar Reynolds failed to make the match-day squad.
Dan Holman, Jobi McAnuff and Joe Widdowson all starting as a result with the return of O’s captain, under Edinburgh, McAnuff a big boost.
The first real action of note in the opening exchanges saw Mark Yeates fire wide after a Ben Williamson cross found the former Spurs man at the back post.
Orient responded, with 36 on the clock, when McAnuff’s free kick hit the crossbar from 20-yards and that was the closest either side went in the first half.
Yeates went close again soon after the restart, but curled wide before Edinburgh made a change.
Josh Koroma was introduced for McAnuff with 53 played and six minutes later O’s almost went in front.
Matt Harrold flicked the ball on and Holman ran through, but ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack made himself big and saved well.
It would prove to be Holman’s last action of the game as Bonne replaced him soon after his wasted opportunity.
Chances were coming more frequently now and Ayo Obileye was next to go close in the 65th minute, but he failed to trouble Dean Brill in the Orient goal.
O’s began to enjoy a purple patch as the game entered its final 20 minutes with Bonne glancing Koroma’s corner into the side-netting.
The same duo were involved again eight minutes later, but Bonne’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Eastleigh threatened with 84 on the clock when Sam Matthews impressively created some space, but couldn’t apply the required finish touch.
Four minutes of stoppage time were then added on in Hampshire and Orient went close late on, yet Bonne couldn’t convert a James Brophy cross and it ended goalless.
O’s dropped to 17th as a result of the stalemate, but remain eight points above the bottom four.
The worrying thing for Edinburgh will be the team haven’t won since February 20 and despite his best efforts to prevent it, the season appears to be petering out.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Ling, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson; McAnuff (Koroma 53), Clay, Adams, Brophy; Harrold, Holman (Bonne 61).
Unused substitutes: Grainger, Mooney, Ekpiteta.
Attendance: 2,013 (453 Leyton Orient supporters).