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Luton Town (Club photographer Gareth Owen)

Battling O’s share the spoils against the Hatters

Town 2-2 Leyton Orient
Emdad Rahman reports from Kenilworth Road.

LEYTON ORIENT refused to lie down as a battling performance saw the visitors gain a point against high flyers Luton Town in a thoroughly entertaining game at Kenilworth Road.

Henry Ochieng was drafted in for his full debut with Sam Dalby, Teddy Mezague, Victor Adeboyejo also making the starting eleven. Victor Adeboyejo went close for the visitors before Danny Hylton’s crisp finish after springing the Os’ offside trap, and the presence of Mezague and Sandro Semedo, saw the Hatters take the lead and go in 1-0 up at half time. It was the Luton star’s 25th goal of the season.

The Os regrouped and hushed the home crowd after the break – through a Liam Kelly penalty, coming after Glen Rea was punished for handling Michael Collins’ pile driver.

A fairytale moment saw Tristan Abrahams, who had replaced Sam Dalby, score his first professional goal and a shock second for Orient. Abrahams celebrated with the 380 travelling support, who were a credit to football. With the home side pressing, Isaac Vassell struck home to deny Omer Riza’s men a morale boosting win and ensure the points were shared.

Os’ manager Omer Riza praised his team’s performance: “The lads worked hard today. We tried to put out a team which was going to attack and cause problems, and be free to go and enjoy their game – at the same time being disciplined and not conceding goals. Unfortunately, we let in two today and we switched off a little bit. We went in at half time saying it’s still 1-0, and we still had good possession of the game at times. To come here to Luton, a team that’s looking for promotion, and perform the way they did – I can’t ask anymore of them. They were superb.”

Orient, who remain ten points adrift of safety in League Two, live to fight another day and face a relegation battle with Hartlepool on Easter Monday. The historic club is second to Fulham as London’s oldest club and faces relegation out of the Football League for the first time in its 136-year history.

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