Date: 30th September 2013 at 1:22am
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Leyton Orient lost their 100% start to the season as ten-men Walsall battled to a point at Brisbane Road.


Andy Butler was sent off early on in the first half and was later followed by Romain Vincelot deep into second half stoppage time as both sides ended up with ten players in a frustrating afternoon for the O`s.

David Mooney had fired the hosts into the lead before Craig Westcarr`s 70th minute strike meant Walsall travelled back north with a point.

The hosts started brightly forcing a couple of early corner s but it was the aforementioned Butler who nearly nodded the visitors into a seventh minute lead, but saw his thumping header went wide of the near post.

With the game evenly poised Saddlers captain Andy Butler swung the contest in the hosts favour after he was dismissed for a lunging dive on Romain Vincelot close to an irate Orient bench. Referee Graham Scott had no hesitation to pull out the red card on what was a reckless challenge from the experienced defender.

Dean Smith brought on Ben Purkiss to shore up the Saddlers backline to keep things tight but they soon found themselves with a great chance to open the scoring. Troy Hewitt was adjudged onside when in front of the defensive line, but the striker panicked and played the ball back to Craig Westcarr instead of turning and shooting at goal when he was clean through.

That gave the hosts the proverbial kick they needed to up their performance. With 36 on the clock Orient created a good opportunity from some slack Walsall passing. The ball fell to Cox in the centre circle and he neatly played through David Mooney whose jinking run could not be matched by his finish as he scuffed harmlessly wide.

The Irishman wouldn`t have to wait long for another chance and this time he took it with aplomb. A high lofted ball from Lloyd James into the Walsall box was not dealt with by Saddlers keeper Richard O`Donnell under pressure from Kevin Lisbie. He could only flap the ball into the path of Mooney who coolly drove the ball home for his ninth of the season.

With cries of “top of the league” ringing in their ears Orient almost doubled the lead three minutes from the break. Lisbie`s clever one-two with Mooney sent the Jamaican free in the 6 yard box on the angle, only to see his driven effort denied by O`Donnell.

The visitors attempted to nick an equaliser into injury time forcing a series of corners but none of them threatened Jamie Jones as the league leaders took the goal advantage into half-time.

At the start of the half both teams opened up as they looked for the vital second goal. Andy Taylor drove a dangerous cross into the Orient area which fortunately for the hosts could only found Jamie Jones.
Orient kept applying the pressure down the other end. Eight minutes after the restart Cox fired a low effort across O`Donnell inside the area after being played through by Mooney but the Saddlers keeper used his legs to repel the O`s winger.

Along with Cox, Lisbie was proving a thorn in Walsall`s side and was creating havoc with his runs deep in the Saddlers half but it failed to materialise into a crucial second goal and Smith`s men made them pay with 20 minutes to go.

A deep cross from the left hand side fell to an unmarked Troy Hewitt at the far post who calmly headed the ball back into the path of Craig Westcarr who nodded into an empty net.

With 20 minutes left Orient went back on the charge and nearly got themselves back in front. Romain Vincelot dangerous whipped cross fell into the path of Kevin Lisbie whose fine header was repelled by O`Donnell.

And with a minute to go the O`s were so close to snatching a late winner. Mathieu Baudry saw his headed effort superbly tipped onto the crossbar by O`Donnell from a Lloyd James corner and away to safety to the frustration of the Brisbane Road crowd.

There was no more frustrated figure than Romain Vincelot who into the fourth minute of injury time made a clumsy challenge to earn his second booking of the match to make it ten men a piece. Both sides saw out the final minute as Orient lost their 100% record in League 1.