Orient were robbed of all three points by Sam Tillen`s 87th minute strike as Brentford stole a point that they had scarcely deserved.
There are times in football when you have to question whether there is really any justice and after the events at Brisbane Road, it would take a very brave person to suggest that today`s scoreline was anything but just. The final whistle was greeted by huge celebrations from the Brentford fans as they sang and chanted as if they had just won the Champions League when in fact they had just stolen a undeserved point from a game in which they were always second best.
Orient outplayed last season`s play-off semi finalists for the majority of the game as the O`s reproduced some of the flowing football that had seen them gain promotion last season. Brentford were having problems containing the home side as the O`s looked a completely different side to the one that succumbed so meekly to Tranmere.
Wayne Corden was the first to try his luck with an exquisite curling effort with the outside of his right foot, which Stuart Nelson managed to turn round the post. The O`s forced a succession of corners as the Bees found themselves on the back foot in the opening stages. Gary Alexander was next to test the Brentford backline as the Orient striker got in behind the Brentford defence only for his effort to be deflected wide by fellow striker, Paul Connor.
The O`s finally gained a reward for their dominance as they took the lead with a fantastic flowing move. Joe Keith was released on the left wing after a terrific touch from Gary Alexander allowed the winger to slip in Michael Simpson. Having made a run from deep, the O`s midfielder took a touch before slotting the ball home past Nelson from a tight angle.
It was no more than Orient deserved as they had made their visitors look extremely ordinary. Glyn Garner was a virtual spectator as the O`s gave the Bees` defence a torrid time. The Brentford centre backs looked extremely uncomfortable with Adam Griffiths in particular looking completely out of his depth against Alexander and Connor. The O`s found themselves in behind the Bees` backline on numerous occasions but failed to take advantage of the situations.
Having headed a Brentford corner just wide of his own goal, Alexander was involved at the other end creating a chance for strike partner Paul Connor who flashed his effort wide from some twenty-five yards. The O`s forwards continued to pressurise the Bees` rearguard as Griffiths and Heywood continued to look slow and cumbersome against an Orient side showing little signs of lacking confidence.
With half time approaching, the visitors started to find their feet and despite enjoying possession, Glyn Garner was rarely troubled. The Bees` front two of Willock and Kuffour were marked out of the game by Brian Saah and the impressive Adam Tann. Brentford resorted to the long ball game in an effort to utilise the pace of Kuffour but the former Torquay man was marshalled superbly by Saah.
The second half saw more of the same from Orient as they continued to dominate against their London rivals. Despite bringing on Chris Moore in place of Callum Willock, the Brentford front line failed to make any real impression with the former Dagenham man looking rather out of place in League One. As in the first half it was the home side that started the brighter of the two and Stuart Nelson had to be alert to keep out an effort from Wayne Corden on 52.
Orient were totally dominant and both Joe Keith and Justin Miller had good efforts blocked by some brave Brentford defending before Miller almost scored the goal of the season from inside his own half. With the Bees still retreating from the O`s half after losing possession, the O`s right back tried his luck from some sixty yards. The ball looked destined for the net with Nelson back pedalling desperately but the Brentford custodian somehow managed to get a hand to the ball and push it behind for a corner. It was a truly spectacular strike and looked to re-energise the O`s as they continued to search for that elusive second goal.
That second goal should have come just minutes later and it was a miss that the O`s were made to rue. This time it was Gary Alexander that was the culprit as he somehow failed to score when clean through on goal. Having beaten Sam Tillen to the ball, Alexander surged through on goal only to be denied by a superb block from Nelson. That miss was to prove costly as the O`s were to find out only minutes later.
Having not had an effort on target for the entirety of the second half, Brentford engineered an equaliser with only three minutes remaining. Former Chelsea trainee, Sam Tillen struck a left footed effort from just outside the area, which flew past Garner into the far corner of the net. It was a cruel blow for Orient and you could be forgiven for rubbing your eyes in disbelief as the Bees had rarely threatened during the contest.
The O`s tried to salvage a victory in the remaining time but Jabo Ibehre headed over the bar from Wayne Corden`s delightful left winged cross. The final whistle brought an end to a rather one sided London derby and left O`s fans scratching their head as to how they didn`t manage to win this particular game.
O’s In 20th Position
Many people will look at the League One table and see Orient languishing in 20th position after this fixture, but it would be naïve to suggest the O`s will still be there if they continue to play as well as they did against the side ranked 4th. Brentford continued their unbeaten run although it would take a brave pundit to predict that the run will extend too much further into the future.
Orient outplayed a team that is expected to challenge for promotion and from that alone, Martin Ling should take some confidence and pride. Having lost their last four before today, there were question marks hanging over Orient`s ability to compete in this division. Today`s performance has underlined the fact that the O`s can challenge at this level and should stand them in good stead for the trip to Bristol City on Tuesday.
Return Of The Mack
Orient will have John Mackie back for Tuesday`s game at Bristol City after the O`s skipper served the final game of his four match suspension. Despite some impressive performances from Brian Saah, Martin Ling will probably replace the youngster with Mackie partnering Tann in the centre of defence.
Lee Steele should have recovered in time for the trip to Ashton Gate whilst the O`s could also have Craig Easton and Shane Tudor available.
Orient should have taken all three points today and judging by the ridiculously over the top celebrations from the Brentford fans, the visitors know that they have been extremely fortunate. A neutral spectator could have been forgiven for thinking that Brentford had just won the Champions League, but no, they had only just managed a 1-1 draw at Orient.
The result was harsh on Orient but the O`s will come back stronger and will hope to attain their first points away from E10 on Tuesday at Ashton Gate before heading down to Brighton for a game that will surely set the pulses racing.