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Slade’s future in doubt after Leyton Orient draw at Notts County

21:41 16 September 2014

Notts County

Notts County's Curtis Thompson (left) and Leyton Orients opening goalscorer Chris Dagnall battle for the ball. Pic: Tim Goode/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

League One: Notts County 1 Leyton Orient 1

Chris Dagnall’s second half penalty secured Leyton Orient a point on their travels at Notts County, but whether it’s enough to keep Russell Slade in the job remains to be seen.

Slade was told after Saturday’s defeat that he needed to win tonight’s encounter to extend his four and a half year spell as boss at Brisbane Road by new owner and chairman Francesco Becchetti, but they fell behind to Zeli Ismail’s 25th minute penalty.

The O’s have been known for their resolve under Slade and that couldn’t be questioned at Meadow Lane as they battled their way back into the game and Dagnall levelled from the spot in the second period after David Mooney was brought down in the box, and though they went in search of the winner, they came up short.

Slade made three changes to the side which lost 2-0 against Colchester United on Saturday, with Romain Vincelot, Jobi McAnuff and Elliot Omozusi in for Marvin Bartley, Darius Henderson and Mathieu Baudry.

After a quiet opening five minutes the game burst into life when Scott Cuthbert’s nodded Jobi McAnuff’s corner into the ground, but it landed on the roof of the net.

The Magpies responded almost instantaneously as tricky winger Ismail fired in a shot across goal but it went agonisingly wide of Gary Woods’ goal.

The game continued to be end to end and Mooney’s low effort went inches wide of the target, before the game began to settle down after the hectic spell.

A good move from the hosts resulted in Liam Noble’s effort being deflected behind for a corner on 16 minutes, but the hosts would take the lead nine minutes later.

Gary Jones’s free-kick was headed up in the air and O’s skipper Nathan Clarke tugged Jake Cassidy’s shirt and referee Gary Sutton pointed to the spot. Ismail made no mistake and the visitors found themselves behind.

Undeterred by the goal, the O’s continued to mount pressure on the home goal, forcing a couple of corner, before winger Michael Petrasso drifted in off the right, but his ball in was cleared.

Shane Lowry’s free-kick from just outside the box then clipped the top of the wall, but it simply wasn’t falling for the O’s in the final third and they went in a goal down. Slade had 45 minutes to save his job.

No changes were made at the break for the visitors, and they almost levelled within the first minute as loanee David Petrasso capitalised on a stray pass from the Magpies.

His 25-yard shot was fierce, but it curled just wide of the post with Roy Carroll motionless in the home goal.

But the O’s bright start to the second period would pay dividends when Curtis Thompson tripped David Mooney on 50 minutes and Chris Dagnall, the man who missed the decisive play-off final penalty at Wembley back in May, this time coolly slotted past Carroll to level. It was nothing more than the visitors deserved.

The hosts lost their memento as the O’s gained in confidence. Bradley Pritchard flashed an effort wide of Carroll’s goal at the midway point in the half before Petrasso’s shot drifted wide.

Mooney produced a lovely turn in the box but he fired his shot over the bar, before Slade replaced the striker with Darius Henderson.

He made two further like-for-like substitutions with Dean Cox and Jay Simpson brought on in search of a winner.

The game entered the final five minutes and Gary Woods was forced into action for the first time tonight in the O’s goal as he produced a fine stop to deny Noble from long range, before Henderson went up the other end and dragged a shot wide.

But that search for a winner proved in vain and know the waiting starts to see if Slade has ended his tenure with the O’s. It didn’t deserve to be after another valiant showing from the visitors.

Notts County: Carroll, C Thompson, Hollis, Laing, Cranston, Smith (Traore 76), Jones (G Thompson 61), Ismail, Brown (Murray 46), Noble, Cassidy.

Unused substitutes: Spiess, Dumbaya, McKenzie, Harrad.

Leyton Orient: Woods; Omozusi, Clarke, Cuthbert, Lowry; Petrasso (Cox 69), Vincelot, Pritchard, McAnuff; Mooney (Henderson 69), Dagnall (Simpson 81).

Unused substitutes: Grainger, Baudry, Batt, Bartley.

Attendance: 4,024 (311 Leyton Orient fans)

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