Ten-man Mansfield Town make a point at Leyton Orient
Ten-man Mansfield held on for a battling goalless draw at Leyton Orient.
The Stags secured a second successive draw with a credible result at the in-form O’s.
And most importantly they kept a clean sheet against a side who had scored an impressive 11 goals in their previous four league games.
Manager Nigel Clough named a solitary change after his side ended a worrying five-game losing streak with a draw against Rochdale last weekend.
Kellan Gordon was the man to make way as Danny Johnson made his first league start since August.
Both sides took their time to create a meaningful chance in the capital.
And it was the lowly Stags who had the first real opportunity to break the deadlock when Farrend Rawson forced a save from former Swindon stopper Lawrence Vigouroux.
Down the other end in-form Harry Smith, who has already scored six league goals this term, headed wide of the mark as high-flying Orient started to motor.
Clough’s resolute Stags had to do a lot of defending to keep the game goalless at the break.
And they did well to frustrate the hosts’ potent front three as they put their bodies on the line to keep them out.
After the break Aaron Drinan, who has four goals himself this term, fired wide after a quick counter attack.
Tom James fired a poor free-kick well over the bar as Orient looked the most likely to open the scoring.
Ollie Clarke went close on the hour mark as his clever dummy allowed him to beat two Orient defenders and force Vigouroux to make a save.
The Stags were let off when James fired straight at Nathan Bishop from Drinan’s cut back.
Clough’s charges continued to defend for their lives as they desperately tried to hold on for a point.
Their lives were made harder when substitute Tyreece Sinclair was sent off with five minutes to go.
And they were indebted to the woodwork when Ruel Sotiriou headed against the post in stoppage time.
Bishop made a superb late save to keep out Theo Archibald’s volley.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Mitchell, Beckles, Ogie, James, Pratley, Clay (Kyprianou, 56), Wood, Archibald, Smith, Drinan (Sotiriou, 72). Unused subs: Papadopoulos, Happe, Byrne, Omotoye, Kemp.
Mansfield: Bishop, Hewitt, Rawson, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Lapslie, Maris (Charsley, 54), O Clarke, Oates (Burke, 88), Bowery, Johnson (Sinclair, 67). Unused subs: Ward, Shelvey, Clarke, Law.
Referee: Ben Speedie.
Attendance: 5,252 (347)