Noone earns Exeter a point at Orient
A 45-yard strike from debutant Craig Noone ten minutes from time ensured Exeter City returned from Leyton Orient with a point. The winger, who arrived from fierce rivals Plymouth Argyle last week on a three month loan excelled on the left wing. From that position, the 21 year old put a ball into the box, but which came off the outside of his foot and drifted towards the goal. The keeper could only get a soft hand on the ball as it remarkably landed in the back of the net. After that, both sides pushed for a winner, but neither side looked liked scoring in the final ten minutes.
The home side controlled most of the first half and were good value for their one goal lead going into half time. However, when Orient`s goal came it was fortuitous. Charlie Daniels drilled a free kick low towards the goal from 30 yards out, which deflected off the unfortunate Marcus Stewart and past the stranded Oscar Jansson in the City goal.
Despite Orient`s superiority in the first half, creative midfielder Ryan Harley failed to make the most of a good opportunity on the stroke of half time. Stuart Fleetwood -largely anonymous while he was on the field - dribbled into the box and to the bye line on the left and pulled the ball back to Harley who arrived to strike from inside the box, but could only find the keeper with a tame shot.
City were much better in the second half, and made the most of Noone, who proved an excellent outlet on the left wing. Noone provided City with some much needed width in this match, and in the second period ran at his full back and delivered some good balls into the box. However, Orient were a fraction from taking a two goal lead after veteran striker Scott McGleish hit a superb thirty five yard strike towards the top right hand corner. However, Grecians keeper Jansson was equal to the strike and managed to get a small touch to deflect the ball onto the underside of the bar.
Paul Tisdale brought on Adam Stansfield for the largely ineffectual Liam Sercombe on the hour, and later Barry Corr for Fleetwood. Harley went close for City with a low strike from outside the box which just went wide, but City struggled to create any clear cut chances before Noones` bizarre strike rescued a point for the Grecians.
It is fair to say this was an important game, as it was probably contested by two teams who will most likely finish in the bottom third of the table. A point on the road is always welcome, but City may well have thought Orient were there for the taking. Nethertheless, City will hope for a first home victory of the season as they host struggling Tranmere Rovers for Saturday. I feel Tisdale has to adopt a more positive approach with more than one man up front, and put pressure on a struggling team right from the off.
Oscar Jansson 7
Richard Duffy 6
Danny Seaborne 6
Troy Archibald-Henville 7
Matt Taylor 7
Liam Sercombe 4
Alex Russell 5
Ryan Harley 7
Craig Noone 8
Marcus Stewart 4
Stuart Fleetwood 4
I feel Tisdale has to ditch the lone striker tactic as it simply isn't working. Must have made a good half time team talk judging by the second half response, and made a good substitution by bringing on Stansfield for Sercombe. In addition, his decision to start with Noone was clearly justified.