Leyton Orient frustrate League One title challengers Sheffield United
Leyton Orient frustrated League One title challengers Sheffield United after a deserved 0-0 draw at Bramall Lane this evening.
The Blades started the evening top of the league but didn't look like potential champions as they produced a lacklustre performance.
Orient more than held their own and could have taken the points if it wasn't for a double save from George Long in the second half to deny Romain Vincelot and David Mooney. The closest United came was through Ryan Flynn's strike which hit the post but neither side was able to find the breakthrough in an uninspiring contest.
The O's made three changes to the side beaten at home to Crawley at the weekend. Jimmy Smith came into midfield in place of Lee Cook while Moses Odubajo returned to the side.
Shaun Batt led the attack with Charlie MacDonald and Mooney on the bench as Orient went with one up front.
The hosts had a decent early opportunity when Harry Maguire knocked the ball down for Neill Collins but the defender scuffed his effort wide from close range.
Dominic Poleon also had a chance to give the Blades the lead but he sent his volley flashing wide of Jamie Jones' post.
Sightings at goal for the visitors were rare in the first half but they had an opportunity when captain Nathan Clarke headed wide of the target from Dean Cox's corner.
The home fans were starting to get restless as the half dragged on with their team struggling to create many openings against the O's.
Orient seemed to be getting more comfortable the longer the game went on and a series of corners did nothing to quell the growing frustrations of the United supporters.
United had a great chance to take the lead early on in the second half when Moleon raced onto a lofted ball from Barry Robson but he sent his effort just wide with only the keeper to beat.
The O's made their first change approaching the hour mark with Mooney replacing Batt.
Orient came so close to taking the lead when home keeper Long was forced into an excellent double save denying Vincelot and then Mooney.
The visitors had a scare when the Blades struck the post through Flynn's strike from the edge of the area.
Mooney thought he had netted the winner late on but the Irish striker curled his effort from the edge of the area narrowly past the post.
United also came close as Michael Doyle's powerful shot forced Jones into a decent save as he pushed the ball round the post.
The hosts kept pushing for the winner and spurned another chance when substitute Richard Cresswell headed over the bar.
Late goals had cost Orient dearly in their last two away matches, at Hartlepool and Southend, but they weren't denied this time as they secured a hard-earned point to take back to London.
Sheffield United: Long; McMahon, Maguire, Collins, Higginbotham; Flynn, McDonald, Doyle, Robson (De Girolamo, 72); Poleon (McFadaean, 63), Kitson (Cresswell, 72)
Subs not used: Westlake, Hill, Ironside, Coyne
Leyton Orient: Jones; McSweeney, Clarke, Baudry, Cuthbert; Cox, Vincelot, Smith, James, Odubajo; Batt (Mooney, 56)
Subs not used: Griffith, MacDonald, Grainger, Obafemi, Cook, Omozusi
Referee: P Gibbs