Ross Embleton described the feeling after Leyton Orient’s 2-2 draw at Exeter City as “surreal” following the hosts’ late equaliser.

Exeter started the day at the top of the table but were behind to Orient goals from Lee Angol and Louis Dennis going into the dying minutes, before a Nicky Law penalty rescued a point for the Grecians.

Despite the disappointment of the late goal, the contrast in performances from that game and the fixture against Swindon Town was something that pleased the boss.

Speaking to the club website after the game, he said: “It’s a very surreal feeling. I’ve just said to the lads that did we deserve to win? Probably not. Well, certainly not. Is it really frustrating to concede a goal in, whatever it was, five minutes to go in injury time? Then yes of course it is.

“If you look back we’d have taken a point here in the circumstances after last week’s disappointing performance. I thought it was a step in the right direction.”

Embleton made a number of changes to the side, including changing the formation to accommodate the additions of Dennis and George Marsh, who made his league debut in a man of the match performance, and the boss explained that it came after a period of reflection following the defeat to Swindon.

He said: “We’ve had a really good week. I probably looked at myself a lot in terms of the comments I made off the back of last week and I looked at myself as well in terms of what I do day to day and I feel there’s been elements of the way that I work with the players and the way that I manage myself that hasn’t always totally been me at times, so I did some reflection on that and we’ve done a lot of work this week on a clear week to make sure that we came into this game tactically better prepared and I thought the way the boys executed that side of the game today was really good.

“I really liked us in the first half. I thought we looked compact and solid. Not a great goal to concede but I felt that we were clever in the way that we counter-attacked and looked to hurt the opposition.”

Exeter’s ability to take points when it almost seems like there aren’t any on offer has seen them challenging at the top end of League Two for a number of seasons now, and after Orient faced a barrage of late attacks from the hosts, Embleton felt it was just a case of their luck running out when Law converted the penalty.

He said: “Like I said, I personally don’t think we deserved to win it but it’s obviously a really devastating blow to concede the goal as late as we did. The goal lived a charmed life at times and Deano [Dean Brill] kept us in it but the way we defended our box sort of deserved that point out of the game, as well as that grit and determination that the boys have shown today.”

“This team is up there and I’m sure they will be. They always are in this league, they’re very competitive so knew it was going to be tough and when you go a goal down in the way that we did, so close to half-time, you sort of think it was very frustrating because I thought tactically we got it right in the first-half.

“I thought we got it right in the first-half. We knew how we could try to hurt them on the counter attack and to go 2-1 up was obviously a great feeling.”