Leyton Orient held to a draw away to Harrogate Town

Conor Wilkinson of Leyton Orient during Leyton Orient vs Walsall, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at T

Conor Wilkinson of Leyton Orient during Leyton Orient vs Walsall, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at The Breyer Group Stadium on 5th April 2021 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient were pegged back for a 2-2 draw away to Harrogate Town to keep them sitting four points off the League Two play-off places.

The O’s interim manager Jobi McAnuff named himself in the starting line-up and also restored Tunji Akinola with Jamie Turley and Joe Widdowson dropping to the bench. 

Opponents Harrogate made just one change with experienced striker Jon Stead coming in to replace the injured Mark Beck. 

It was a slow start at The EnviroVent Stadium with the first real chance coming in the 13th minute for the hosts as Jack Muldoon flashed a shot wide of the post from the edge of the box. 

Orient had a chance of their own just moments later as Dan Kemp whipped a free-kick in that was nodded behind for the corner. 

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The resulting corner is fizzed in, but well held by James Belshaw, before Town then went close as experienced striker Jon Stead fired over from eight yards out. 

It was another big chance for Harrogate Town - this time Lloyd Kelly spurned a chance to fire home a rebound. 

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The visitors then opened up Harrogate for the first time as Kemp got in behind his man where captain Craig Clay was in support, but his deflected cross was scooped up by Belshaw. 

In the 37th minute of play forward Conor Wilkinson with a sighter, as he tried to beat Belshaw with a deft lob. It would have been a beauty, but it went the wrong side of the post. 

Two minutes later Clay played a through ball for Wilkinson, who in turn tries to find Danny Johnson in the centre, but his intentions are read by the Town defence. 

It was a dream start to the second-half for Orient as Dan Happe made a big tackle which went to Wilkinson who drove up the pitch before firing a low effort from the edge of the box past Belshaw to make it 1-0. 

Craig Clay struck a shot which went behind for a corner, before Hector Kyprianou failed to find the target from Kemp's low corner as they looked for a second. 

Harrogate levelled the score in the 57th minute as left-back Dan Jones heads home from Thomson's free-kick. 

Six minutes later Orient restored their lead as Warren Burrell thought he had a safe pass back to the keeper, but Danny Johnson appeared out of thin air to tuck it past the keeper. 

However, Harrogate was awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute, where up stepped Muldoon but Lawrence Vigouroux guessed the right way and denied him from the spot. 

The joy was short lived as two minutes later the hosts did equalise thanks to a low finish from Josh McPake.  

A corner dropped to O’s substitute Nick Freeman on the edge of the box, but his half volley was high over the bar before Louis Dennis played a chipped ball looking for Danny Johnson, but Belshaw raced off his line to clean up. 

Dennis then pulled off some fantastic footwork and a brilliant delivery - but Dan Kemp's stooped header somehow cleared the bar. 

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Burrell, Smith, Hall, Jones, Kerry, Falkingham, Thomson, McPake, Muldoon, Stead. 

Unused subs: Fallowfield, Cracknell, Kiernan, Francis, Williams, Andrews. 

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Happe, Brophy, Kyprianou (Abrahams 87), Clay, McAnuff (Freeman 71), Wilkinson (Dennis 78), Kemp, Johnson. 

Unused subs: Sargeant, Widdowson, Coulson, Turley. 

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