In a match of few chances, neither side will feel as though they did enough to claim all three points.

A high intensity first half saw both teams look to score on the counterattack. However, both goalkeepers remained relatively untroubled as a combination of wayward passes and misplaced finishes saw several promising attacks go to waste.

Orient’s best sight of goal came after 18 minutes when Paul Smyth hit the side netting from just inside the Port Vale penalty area.

The end-to-end nature of the first 45 minutes was in stark contrast to the second, when the match was played predominantly in the middle third of the pitch as both teams struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities.

Kenny Jackett elected to give January signing, Dan Moss, his first start for the club, as the O’s made one change to the starting eleven that faced Stoke City in the FA Cup last time out.  Fellow Orient new signing, Otis Khan, was named among the substitutes.

A combination of injuries and illness meant that Port Vale Head Coach, Darrell Clarke, was only able to name five substitutes for this match.

David Amoo, James Wilson and Aaron Martin replaced Ryan Edmondson, Kian Harratt and David Worrall in the visitors starting eleven.

Both teams began the contest in a 3-5-2 formation. Paul Smyth was in his favoured position behind the strikers for Orient. Meanwhile, Ben Garrity, who has scored two goals in his last three appearances, took up his role as the most advanced of the three Port Vale midfielders.

It only took until the fourth minute of the match for Harry Smith to call the Valiants’ goalkeeper, Aidan Stone, into action with a looped header from the edge of the area. Stone, though, was equal to it.

The visitors were forced into an early change when, James Gibbons, suffered an injury while sprinting down the Port Vale right. The wing back pulled up abruptly while clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Lewis Cass.

Shortly after the match restarted and some determined Orient defending, Darren Pratley picked out Aaron Drinan in space on the left wing. The O’s forward turned and ran powerfully with the ball to the edge of Port Vale’s penalty area before unleashing an effort that flew a couple of yards over the crossbar.

A period of concerted Orient pressure saw an attempted Port Vale clearance fall to Paul Smyth on the left corner of the penalty area. He picked the ball out of the air with his first touch before shooting narrowly wide and into the side netting with his second.

As the first half progressed, the match became increasingly stretched as both sides looked to catch the other out with a swift counterattack. Both sides, however, struggled to create a presentable goal-scoring opportunity.

The crowd in E10 felt that Orient should have been awarded a penalty when Paul Smyth was impeded as he attempted to pressure the Port Vale goalkeeper. The referee did not agree and waved away the O’s protests.

With the low winter sun beginning to set, the first half ended with the floodlights illuminating the action. It was Port Vale who were chasing shadows when Paul Smyth spearheaded an Orient counterattack.

He received the ball on the halfway line from Drinan’s clever headed pass. Smyth, who was a constant menace to the Port Vale defence, rapidly advanced into the opposition half of the pitch before Ben Garrity’s foul ended the move around thirty yards from goal.

Smith’s free kick had the Valiants’ goalkeeper scrambling but unfortunately for Orient, the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Half-Time – Leyton Orient 0 – 0 Port Vale

Port Vale created the first chance of the second half when Chris Hussey got in behind the O’s defence on the left wing. His cross flew between the Orient defenders and Vigouroux, in goal, before running out harmlessly for a goal kick.

Kenny Jackett made a double substitution as the match approached the hour mark. Matt Young and new signing, Otis Khan, replaced Dan Moss and Hector Kyprianou as the O’s searched for an opening goal.

Darrell Clarke made his second and third substitutions when Kian Harratt and Ryan Edmondson were brought on in place of David Amoo and James Wilson.

The second half grew increasingly disjointed, possibly due to the intense physical demands that the open nature of the first half exerted on both sets of players. Neither side was able to keep possession or create a clear-cut chance for their strikers.

Frustrations boiled over with ten minutes left to play following a cynical tackle on the halfway line from Port Vale midfielder, Brad Walker. Paul Smyth was leading an Orient counterattack before being scythed down by Walker. Port Vale’s midfielder was swiftly booked for his challenge but the melee that ensued saw Omar Beckles also go into the referee’s notebook.

The remaining minutes passed as both teams failed to find a late winner.

Full-time – Leyton Orient 0 – 0 Port Vale

Attendance:  5,761 (644) 

Teams –

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Wood, Smyth, Smith (Kemp 90’), Mitchell, Drinan, Moss (Khan 61’), Pratley (c), Beckles, Ogie, Kyprianou (Young 62’) 

Subs Unused: Sargeant, Happe, Thompson, Sotiriou 

Yellow Cards: Mitchell 51’, Ogie 70’, Wood 73’, Beckles 80’ 

Port Vale: Stone, Gibbons (Cass 7’), Walker, Hall, Smith, Garrity, Wilson (Edmondson 71’), Hussey, Martin, Amoo (Harratt 71’), Pett 

Subs unused: Benning, Hurst 

Yellow Cards: Garrity 42’, Walker 79

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