Leyton Orient 2-2 Harrogate Town Match Report

Leyton Orient 2-2 Harrogate Town Match Report

11 April 2023

Harrogate Town once again came back to earn a point having been two goals down on Easter Monday, this time at the expense of SkyBet League Two leaders Leyton Orient.

Ruel Sotiriou’s first half brace had put the O’s in total control at the half time stage, but that lead had been wiped out after just 12 second half minutes.

First Anthony O’Connor converted George Thomson’s free kick, then the provider turned goalscorer, rifling into the bottom left corner to pull his side back on level terms and make it just one defeat in eight for Simon Weaver’s men.

Weaver had made two changes from Good Friday’s dramatic point against Wimbledon as Toby Sims and Alex Pattison returned to the side, taking the place of Matty Daly and Jack Muldoon who both drop to the bench.

With a pre-match downpour making conditions tough, the league leaders had a couple of bright early moments through Paul Smyth, though it was Sotiriou who would break the deadlock in the 10th minute, squeezing past Anthony O’Connor and beating Mark Oxley with a low finish that took a deflection off Tom Eastman.

It could have been two after 25 minutes when Smyth had a go from the edge of the area, though Oxley stuck out a big hand to stop the lively number seven adding his name to the score sheet.

Harrogate were unable to threaten the Orient goal in a first 45 minutes controlled by the hosts, who added a second through Sotiriou again eight minutes from the break.

This time the Orient man nipped in at the near post to finish from a few yards out after Smyth had sent in a delivery from the right wing, putting his side in full control at the interval.

Town introduced Warren Burrell at the break and pulled a goal back nine minutes after the restart, O’Connor turning home Thomson’s free kick delivery.

Four minutes later Thomson had his side back on level terms after Burrell’s cross wasn’t properly cleared, Thomson rifled the loose ball into the bottom left corner to complete the comeback.

The hosts opted for a triple change with just under 20 minutes to go, though Town were still the ones looking the more dangerous in front of goal as Lawrence Vigouroux did well to claim Pattison’s cross, while Oxley made a solid low save at the other end.

The contest soon became end to end with both sides doing all they could to find a winner, Charlie Kelman firing across the face of goal moments after it had looked like opening up for another second half substitute Matty Daly.

Despite the attacking intent shown, the tie would end all-square, meaning Town have lost just one of their last eight fixtures.

Town: Oxley, Falkingham, Thomson (Muldoon 90+2), Olaigbe, Sims, O’Connor, Pattison, Sutton (Daly 81), Armstrong, Foulds (Burrell 45), Eastman

Subs not used: Jameson, Mattock, Angus, Folarin

Goals: O’Connor 54, Thomson 57

Booked: Falkingham, O’Connor

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Smyth, Sotiriou, Brown (James 72), Moncur, El Mizouni, Beckles, Sweeney (Pratley 72), Hunt, McCart, Sadlier (Kelman 71)

Subs not used: Sargeant, Thompson, Clay, Duke-McKenna

Goals: Sotiriou 10, 37

Referee: J Bell

Attendance: 8,092 (136 away)

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