Leyton Orient were both relieved and frustrated to leave Elland Road with a draw yesterday after Tresor Kandol missed a late penalty for Leeds and the refereedisallowed a clear goal in the final minutes.
When Sean Thornton gave Orient the lead inside 10 minutes it was the first time since the opening day that Leeds had trailed in a League game and the first goal they had conceded in the League since August. Leeds then drove forward in search of an equaliser and it was providedby Sébastien Carole 10 minutes into the second half.
The Leeds manager, Dennis Wise, welcomed back his captain, Alan Thompson, in place of Jonathan Douglas as Leeds looked to narrow the gap further in League One. The former Millwall manager had predicted an open contest and the early exchanges were fast and furious.
Orient forced two free-kicks in the opening 10 minutes. It was from the second of those that Thornton curled the ball from the left-hand side, his shot evading everyone including the Leeds goalkeeper, Casper Ankergren, to give the visitors the lead.
Orient continued to pile on the pressure as both Jermaine Beckford and Kandol had shots on goal, and they almost went further ahead in the 25th minute when Jason Demetriou curled a shot from a similar position to Thornton, but this time he hit the post.
Leeds were hanging on until the referee, Nigel Miller, intervened by reducing Orient to 10 men after handing Thorntona straight red card after an apparent elbow in Carole's face.
That was the cue for Leeds to take a grip on the proceedings as their opponents reorganised, throwing men behind the ball.
The second half started as the first had finished. Three minutes into the second period the Orient goalkeeper, Stuart Nelson, palmed away a Jamie Clapham effort following a Kandol knockdown. Leeds sensed blood and the inevitable equaliser came on 55 minutes when Carole picked his spot from just inside the box and curled the ball home.
Leeds continued to press and Kandol headed over after good work by Clapham on the left. The home side's pressure looked to have won the day when, with 11 minutes remaining, Paul Terry was adjudged to have fouled Carole inside the penalty box, but Kandol stepped up and inexplicably hoofed the ballover the bar.
Then came the moment of controversy which will reignite the argument for video evidence. Orient, lifted by the penalty miss, broke quickly, giving Adam Boyd a clear shot on goal which Ankergren fumbled, allowing the ball to creep under his body and cross the line. The referee turned down the claims for a goal.
"The referee wasn't up to the occasion, he folded," was the stark assessment of the Leyton Orient manager, Martin Ling.Reuse content