Priceless Baudry equaliser keeps Orient in automatic places
League One: Wolves 1 Leyton Orient 1
Mathieu Baudry’s second half equaliser at Wolves kept Orient in League One’s top two at the start of 2014.
The Frenchman stole in at the back post to sidefoot home Moses Odubajo’s dangerous low cross just before the hour mark.
That outcome seemed incredibly unlikely after a thoroughly one-sided first-half where Wolves looked like they would steamroller their promotion rivals – and leapfrog them in the table in the process.
The O’s travelled to Molineux level on points with their hosts but Ethan Ebanks-Landell ensured they got off to the worst possible start, firing past Jake Larkins after Kevin McDonald released him in the right corner of the penalty area with less than four minutes on the clock.
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The home side missed a number of excellent chances through a combination of poor finishing and quality goalkeeping and they were made to pay.
More injury woe could seriously affect Orient’s promotion hopes. Scott Cuthbert missed out through suspension with Lloyd James returning following his own ban.
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Moses Odubajo dropped to right back and Robbie Simpson made his second start for the club in place of Shaun Batt who injured his hamstring in the late win at Gillingham. Top scorer David Mooney was not fit enough to return after completing his three-match suspension and it was confirmed first-choice goalkeeper Jamie Jones would face a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a back injury.
To compound matters, key midfielder Romain Vincelot was forced off at half-time with what looked like an injury suffered right at the end of the opening period.
Wolves on the other hand had four internationals on the bench and could have put the game to bed by half-time.
Loan striker Jake Cassidy was the main culprit as he showed a masterclass in profligacy.
He fired wide with the goal at his mercy after Larkins saved Michael Jacobs’ long range effort and he flicked a header wide after James Henry put in a teasing cross.
Larkins was also tested by the dangerous Jacobs from a tight angle and only last ditch blocks from Nathan Clarke and Mathieu Baudry kept the score down to one.
The division’s top scorers Orient struggled to test Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal before the interval.
Simpson flicked a header wide from Odubajo’s cross and Vincelot headed over from a James corner but the goalkeeper was largely untroubled.
The visitors frustration grew and James and Vincelot both picked up needless yellow cards.
The pattern continued after the break and only an excellent save from Larkins denied McDonald after a swift Wolves break while Jacobs fired just wide after an excellent driving run.
And while it was only one Orient always had a chance and Baudry struck a precious equaliser to take a point back to east London.
Substitute Yohann Lasimant had a late chance to win it for the visitors but fired over from Kevin Lisbie’s cut back.
But it’s Brentford who top League One after their comprehensive victory over MK Dons.
Orient: Larkins; Odubajo, Baudry, Clarke, Omozusi; Bartley, Vincelot (Sawyer 45), James, Cox; Lisbie, Simpson (Lasimant 71).
Substitutes not used: Lee, Gorman, Finney, Ling, Grainger.