Date: 30th November 2010 at 8:43pm
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Scott McGleish made Leyton Orient’s FA Cup tie with non-league Droylsden slightly more worthwhile for those who travelled up north or those who decided to tune in on TV, with a second-half equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw.

The teams will have to meet again next week to decide who will play Norwich in the third round.

As is the case when the smaller teams meet a bigger team in the cup, the home side Droylsden started the better in front of their home crowd. They created their best chance 20 minutes in when Ciaran Kilheeney only managed to poke the ball wide with only O’s keeper Jason Brown to beat.

This should have been a warning to Russell Slade’s team that this game would not be a walkover but four minutes later Kilheeney had another chance and didn’t miss with a glancing header past Brown.

Despite taking the risk of putting out a strong starting 11, the O’s struggled against their lower-league opposition. The away side’s best chance was when our wingers Dean Cox and Paul-Jose Mpoku combined. Cox sent a low cross in from the right but Mpoku couldn’t find the net at the far post.

Luckily for Slade the O’s still had the quality on the pitch to pose a threat and 17 minutes from the end experienced striker McGleish headed the ball in off the post and keeper to equalise for Orient. It was a slice of luck but saved the away side the embarrassment of exiting the competition early on to non-league opposition.

The draw is a fine reward for Droyslden’s hard work whilst for Orient; the replay is not ideal with a busy schedule. However we avoided elimination in tough weather conditions. It is also another chance to progress in a prestigious competition and travel to Carrow Road in the third round, a trip I already have my eye on!

O’s manager Russell Slade told
‘It was tricky for more than one reason really. If you’d looked at the pitch after about 45 minutes you’d probably not have played the game tonight.

‘But we did and the conditions were the same for both sides. I thought they adapted particularly well in the first half and deserved their lead.

‘We showed great character in the second half, got the equaliser and then I thought we might well have gone on to win the game.’

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