A late Dean Cox goal secured a pre season draw for Leyton Orient against London neighbors Queen Park Rangers. In truth it was more than they deserved on the night after a confident display against the Premier League new boys.
In a lively start, both teams were out to impress with Harry Redknapp including new signing Steven Caulker in a strong line up from the visitors. Orient playing their first home pre season game were passing the ball around nicely with Cox moving around the pitch to receive the ball. The deadlock was broken after 10 minutes when Cox received the ball in the right channel. He looked up and whipped in a delicious in-swinging cross which found an unmarked Romain Vincelot who nodded home past the helpless Rob Green.
Orient began to grow in confidence with Cox’s impact on the game increasing as the half went on. QPR were adopting a 3-4-2-1 formation allowing them to have numbers in the middle and an outlet on either flank. With experienced duo Karl Henry and Joey Barton in center midfield, they began to come in the match more and they equalised 9 minutes later. Nice interchange in the middle saw a threaded through ball finding Junior Hoillett in space behind the Orient midfield about 20 yards out, 2 touches and he unleashed a low shot finding the bottom corner. With the equaliser QPR began to find space behind the O’s midfield with Holliett and Wright-Phillips causing problems along with Traore and SImpson on either flank. The home side were not helped with Scott Cuthbert injury which saw new signing Bradley Pritchard making the change to right back where he did well in an unorthodox position for him
Both sides had chances to take the lead with Joey Barton going close with a dipping shot but it was deflected wide and Traore’s teasing cross but only half chances for the visitors. Orient continued to find spaces in QPR’s half going close on several occasions through Cox, James and Lisbie but the home side could not show their first half dominance.
2 minutes after the restart, Orient gave away a cheap free kick about 25 yards from goal where Joey Barton stepped up to delightfully to curl the ball home to put the away side 2-1 up. Chances were at a premium for the next 15 minutes with only Austin going close with Orient keeper Gary Woods comfortably saving his effort. The home side were still passing well but not finding spaces in attacking areas as they did in the first period. Lisbie was replaced by Chris Dagnall after 67 minutes providing an outlet with his willing runs in the channels and continued pressing of the back three for QPR. Several half chances were created but nothing clear cut until 5 minutes from time. A nicely worked free kick saw the ball fed into Chris Dagnall who laid the ball off to cross on the edge of the area. Dragging the ball onto his left foot, creating just enough space for him to shoot and find the bottom corner to level the scores on the night.
Orient looked sharper than they have in their prior pre season matches and their passing was crisp throughout the first half. All of the attacking players were looking for the ball with Cox being at the heart of it just like last season’s campaign. With new signing Jobi McAnuff in the stands must have enjoyed his team mates first half performance. The visitors were comfortable but nothing special, Redknapp revealed after that they are still looking to develop the squad before they kick off at home to Hull on August 16th. With only 10 days until the O’s kick off they are building well to start the season on the up.
ORIENT: Woods, Cuthbert (Batt, 23), Baudry (Okuson, 46), Clarke (C), Omozusi, Pritchard, James, Vincelot, Cox, Mooney (Kashkett, 81), Lisbie (Dagnall, 67)
GOALS: Vincelot (10) , Cox (85)
QPR: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Caulker (Harriman, 62), Ehmer, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Henry, Hoilett (Sutherland, 62), Austin
SUBS: Lumley, Doughty, Kpekawa, Comley GOALS: Hoilett (19), Barton (47)