City earned a point at Brisbane Road but could have had two more having taken the lead twice. The Tigers started brightly and after surviving an early scare from a corner, took a deserved lead on 15 minutes. Gary Brabin chipped the ball into the box following a lay off from Lee Philpott, O’s defender Harris, attempting to clear, clumsily knocked the ball beyond his keeper and Theo Whitmore nipped in to slide home from close range. Steve Harper had an effort well saved by Bayes in the O’s goal, and at the other end Bracey saved well after Garcia had beaten the offside trap (ie the inept linesman failed to flag). Towards the end of the half Orient began to press for an equalizer, they had several corners that were whipped in dangerously from the left but City somehow survived until the ref blew for the interval.
The game restarted and City once again looked strong, Marcelle and Whitmore combined magnificently to create a goalscoring chance but a fluffed shot from Tappa saw the home side break away and level the score, Griffiths slotting past Bracey after a through ball from Brkovic (missing a vowel Ahmed?). It wasn’t long though, before the Tiger’s restored their lead. David Brown had a shot from just inside the area, Bayes responded well but his palmed save lifted the ball into the path of Whitmore who headed in his and City’s second goal. Orient’s response was to replace Brissett and Brkovic with Christie and Watts. That’ll be Iyesden Christie then, a regular thorn in City’s side in his Mansfield days, so you know what’s coming. Yep, Christie equalised, with just four minutes of the ninety remaining, lashed a 25 yard drive beyond Bracey.
City tried a late substitution, replacing David Brown with Dave Brightwell, ostensibly to keep the point secure. Not so, for the lanky Brightwell was deployed as a forward, and the ball was hoofed toward him a few times, which wasn’t much use to the tiny Clint Marcelle alongside him. And so it ended 2-2, an entertaining encounter in which City worked hard. A point away from home is never a bad result, but we could have had much more. Still we await our first three points of 2000/2001, though we have at least come of the bottom of the table, we are now second from bottom. Huzzah!