Jim O'Brien scores twice as City gain a spirited point at the Matchroom Stadium, in a game that saw debuts for Aaron Martin and Gary Madine...Coventry City snatched a point late on against Leyton Orient as they drew 2-2 in an entertaining game at the Matchroom Stadium.
Jim O'Brien put City ahead, before goals from Scott Cuthbert and Jay Simpson put Orient in front. O'Brien then popped up in the last minute to level the scores.
Three changes were made to the side that beat Peterborough in dramatic fashion last week. New signings Gary Madine and Aaron Martin both started, with Jack Finch coming into the side too. They replaced Josh McQuoid, Seb Hines and the suspended Conor Thomas.
The game was halted after a minute due to a nasty clash of heads between Reda Johnson and Gianvito Plasmati. Johnson was down for a considerable period of time and after treatment off the pitch he was unable to continue and Andy Webster replaced him.
It was a cagey first ten minutes, as both sides looked to mark their authority on the game. New signing Martin looked composed at the heart of City's defence, as Lee Burge remained untested in goal.
It took until midway through the first half for the first chance of the game to appear. Dean Cox ran down the left channel and put in a dangerous low ball, but Burge got down well to gather and hold the ball.
Gary Madine nearly got a debut goal on 26 minutes, his touch to bring down the ball in the six yard box was excellent but a great block from Mathieu Baudry denied him a dream start.
The game started to pick up, and Cox nearly opened the scoring for the hosts on the half hour mark, his half volley flashing past Burge's post.
There was huge shouts for a penalty from the City fans just a minute later when Frank Nouble went down in the area after dispossessing Cuthbert. Referee Jeremy Simpson was perfectly placed and waved away the protests.
The game was there for the taking, and City went 1-0 up ten minutes before the break. Cuthbert slipped, allowing Madine to storm down the right hand side. He cut it back to O'Brien, who finished emphatically to score his second goal in two games.
It was no more than the Sky Blues deserved, and they continued to threaten, with the strike partnership of Madine and Nouble causing all kinds of arial problems to the O's defence.
City saw the half out comfortably, and went into the break holding a deserved, if slender lead. Steven Pressley will have been happy with what he saw from his team.
The second half started in the same fashion as how the first ended, with City looking composed. John Fleck had a chance eight minutes in, his drive well held by Gary Woods.
Orient got an equaliser out of nowhere on 55 minutes. A corner was headed towards goal by Cuthbert, the ball squeezing over the line as Burge almost palmed it away. It was harsh on the Sky Blues, as they had controlled the game up until the goal.
All of a sudden it was the hosts on the front foot, their belief growing after their equaliser. Webster did well to head away a number of crosses as Orient looked to threaten.
With the game finely poised, the next goal looked like it was going to be crucial. City thought they had it on 64 minutes, but Jack Finch's header was disallowed after Madine was judged to have made a foul in the build up.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes Orient took the lead. Jay Simpson was unmarked in the area and headed home, giving Burge no chance.
It was a real sucker punch goal, and changes were made as Simeon Jackson came on for Webster as City pushed for a leveller.
It looked to be another away defeat for the Sky Blues but a point was saved in the 90th minute. John Fleck's cross caused confusion and the ball came out to O'Brien, who drilled home to spark jubilant scenes in the away end.
A point was the least City deserved, and the referee called time on a pulsating game a few minutes later. The Sky Blues now look to the FA Cup, taking on Worcester City next week.
5464 (1161 Away)
Coventry City: Burge, Willis, Johnson © (Webster 8', Jackson 74'), Fleck, Madine, O'Brien, Barton, Nouble, Martin, Haynes, Finch (Maddison 85')
Subs: Allsop (GK), McQuoid, Miller, Tudgay,
Leyton Orient: Woods, Omozusi, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, McAnuff, Clarke©, Wright (Pritchard 72'), Bartley, Simpson, Plasmati (Batt 72')
Subs: Grainger (GK), Sawyer, Lee, Kashket, Dagnall