LEYTON ORIENT 1-1 DOVER
(Clay 78) (Nortey 23)
Mitch Walker’s spectacular late save preserved a hard-earned point for Whites at a rain-swept Brisbane Road on Saturday.
Athletic’s keeper blocked Macaulay Bonne’s point-black header from six yards with his legs as Chris Kinnear’s men extended their unbeaten league run to 10 matches.
Nortei Nortey had curled the visitors ahead in the first half, but a deflected effort from Craig Clay 12 minutes from time had the O’s level.
The away side almost made the perfect start for when James Alabi bore down on goal following a mistake by Joe Widdowson, but home keeper Sam Sargeant, a late addition to the starting line-up after Orient’s first choice stopper Charlie Grainger injured himself in the warmup, denied the striker with his feet.
Bonne then nodded Alex Lawless’ corner narrowly over and at the other end both Alabi and Ryan Bird were close to connecting to Femi Ilesanmi’s dangerous ball across the box.
Mitch Pinnock’s 30-yard free-kick dipped just wide of Sargeant’s goal and Clay blasted just wide in a breathless first quarter of an hour.
Former Premier League star Jobi McAnuff drilled just past the post and Alabi volleyed just over from a tight angle.
But Chris Kinnear’s men were not to be kept out for long and Nortey collected Alabi’s pass and fired past a diving Sargeant much to the delight of the 537 travelling fans.
McAnuff and Swindon loanee James Brophy struck efforts wide for Orient and Mitch Pinnock flicked Josh Passley’s pinpoint cross narrowly over.
Passley was then replaced by Loui Fazakerley five minutes before the break after an unfortunate collision with an advertising board following a 50-50 challenge.
And in first-half stoppage time Walker dived low to push Brophy’s shot from outside the box to his right.
Dover’s keeper then tipped away Bonne’s header from a corner, but a goalmouth scramble ensued with Zimbabwe international Bonne poking an effort towards goal with Connor Essam clearing off the line.
But Leyton Orient’s pressure finally paid off as Clay run onto Brophy’s pass and found the net from inside the box via a deflection in spite of Giancarlo Gallifuoco’s best efforts to keep the ball out.
And the home team, with caretaker boss Russ Embleton in charge following the dismissal of Steve Davis as manager earlier in the week, almost snatched a late winner as Bonne leapt highest to meet James Dayton’s ball into the box, only to be denied by Walker.
McAnuff fired a free-kick narrowly over in injury time as Dover kept their place at the top of the table, one point clear of Wrexham in second spot.
Earlier, Kinnear kept with the same side that beat Eastleigh last week. Anthony Jeffrey, signed on loan from Sutton, started as a substitute.
Whites next travel to Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 21st November. Kick off 7:45pm.
Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Caprice, Widdowson, Lawless (Harrold 65), Sendles-White, McAnuff (c), Bonne, Clay, Happe, Brophy, Dayton.
Subs not used: Mooney, Ellis, Westbrooke.
Dover: Walker, Passley (Fazakerley 44), Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam, Brundle (c), Pinnock, Bird (Daniel 76), Nortey, Alabi.
Subs not used: Richards, Okosieme, Jeffrey.