Leyton Orient F.C
Chances come and go again as Stevenage draw a blank at Leyton Orient
- Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO
Stevenage stayed undefeated and extended their impressive run of clean sheets in a stalemate away to Leyton Orient.
Their run now stands at seven games without defeat following the 0-0 draw at Brisbane Road, and only one goal conceded in that time, that the fluffed early strike from Walsall.
It wasn't always great entertainment but Boro have made themselves very hard to beat in 2021 and this was another perfect example.
It was also another case of the Hertfordshire side not taking their chances when they came along, ruthlessness or a lack of it at times something manager Alex Revell has often pointed at.
They stay 15th though, one place and one point behind their hosts.
Stevenage made two changes, bringing back Luke Norris and Arthur Read in place of Luke Prosser and Chris Lines.
The question marks came not with the personnel change but more with how the formation would look and if it was changed, would it hamper Boro's momentum?
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It became clear early on that those questions would be answered by two up top, Elliott List wide on the left, and not really. Well not straight away anyway.
Boro had a chance inside 45 seconds, Tom Pett's effort being deflected on its way through to Lawrence Vigouroux and making it easy for the keeper.
The Orient man also had to display strong wrists on two occasions in the first period.
The first saw him palm away a strong drive from List, who had drifted into the middle to hit a strong shot, and another when a firm header from Norris was planted straight towards him.
At the other end Orient's best efforts were all off target, Dan Kemp skewing one from right of goal across the front of Jamie Cumming while Conor Wilkinson drove it to the left of the Stevenage keeper but wide of the post.
Other than that there was little to report. The hosts were quite happy to pass it around but never truly looked like hurting the Boro back-line, while Stevenage were in terrier-like mood without the ball but unable to always master the quick attack.
List stuck out on the left looked a sorry figure at times and there were plenty of instructions coming his way from the bench.
At times he got much closer to Norris and Danny Newton but more often he was jogging back towards his own goal and away from the opportunity for a 10th of the season.
He was involved though in creating the first big chance of the second half after he was barged over by Jamie Turley as the goal loomed large in his sights, the Orient man picking up the game's first booking.
It gave Ben Coker a chance to hit a free-kick from 20-yards or so and in a central position. And hit it he did, over the wall but off the joint of post and crossbar.
The rebound came out to List but too quickly for him to move his feet and the ball almost bounced off him and back to the keeper.
Norris should have scored from the next chance too.
A corner from the left found him totally unmarked about 10 yards out, his would-be markers both on the floor behind him.
However, he could only guide his header over the top. The shirt pulled over the head explained perfectly what a miss it was.
The game remained flat for long periods though and it was only late on when it burst into life.
It started with Kemp given too much space just outside the box and his curling effort nicked off a defender before rattling the inside of the upright.
Straight up the other end Tom Pett's run and low shot needed pushed away from Vigouroux and the keeper did the same with another flying save, this one denying Elliot Osborne.
That led to a series of corners for Boro but strangely it was the home side who should have scored from them.
A quick break and ludicrously short back pass by Luther James-Wildin put substitute Danny Johnson away.
However, with only Cumming to beat he skewed his shot across goal, the ball staying in down in the bottom corner on Stevenage's left.
Read then fluffed his pass as Boro broke clear and Orient finished with a free-kick into the box that caused momentary panic.
It was a breathless end to a match that perhaps didn't deserve so much fun.
Alex Revell will no doubt bemoan the missed chances but in truth a draw probably suited both clubs.
Stevenage: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Osborne (Hutton 86), Newton, Vancooten, List (Aitchison 75), Read, Pett, Norris (Stevens 86).
Subs (not used): B.Johnson, Vincelot, Prosser, Lines.
Booked: Newton 58, Coker 90+2
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Cisse, Happe, Clay, Wilkinson, Kemp, Brophy, Turley (Dayton 76), Freeman, Abrahams (D.Johnson 79).
Subs (not used): Sargeant, Widdowson, Akinola, Sweeney, Kyprianou.
Booked: Turley 53, Brophy 79
HT: Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 0
Referee: Alan Young (Milton Keynes)