“Mindblowing” was Rosh Embleton’s description of the contrast in Leyton Orient’s performances between the first and second half of last night’s 1-1 draw with Northampton Town, and the events that led to two players being sent off in a mess melee following the home side’s equalising penalty.

The O’s once again disappointed in the opening period and fell behind shortly before the break when Ryan Watson latched onto the ball just outside the penalty area and drove into the box before firing past Sam Sargeant.

The home side were a different proposition after the break though, and their efforts were rewarded six minutes from the end of normal time when Scott Wharton handled in the box and Josh Wright converted the resultant spot-kick.

However, James Dayton and Wharton then became embroiled in a confrontation as the O’s player tried to retrieve the ball, sparking a mass melee that led to both players being sent off and may lead to further disciplinary action being taken against both clubs.

While Embleton was heartened by his side’s reaction to fallen behind after the break, he knows their first-half shortcomings need to be addressed if they are to climb the League Two table.

The head coach told the club website: “We looked edgy, we looked nervous which I suppose is to be expected, but I felt our performance really reflected that edginess, for everybody. For me, for the players, for the supporters, everyone’s a bit nervous at the moment and I do wonder to a degree does the goal coming settle us down a little bit at half-time.

“The boys sort of came out with the attitude of nothing to lose so let’s have a right go. The issue that raises for me is I feel that’s probably happened on a lot of occasions at the year. That’s our season in a nutshell sometimes, a poor start to a game and a grandstand finish if you like.

“There’s never a dull moment when anybody comes to the Breyer Group Stadium anymore, but it is something to be applauded in terms of the way we applied ourselves and delivered the second-half performance but something that we really need to keep looking at to try to start games a bit better.”

Asked about the melee, Embleton was perplexed by the circumstances that led to Dayton’s dismissal.

“I don’t think James Dayton particularly expected that (a red card),” the O’s boss said. “There was some mindblowing things that happened in the incident.

“The first thing was the ball goes into the box and we win a penalty, so if we win a penalty for handball it’s a yellow card. The guy has punched it away from Jordan Maguire-Drew’s head. The fourth official tells me that it’s because he’s in the air he hasn’t been given a yellow card but punching the ball in the air, standing on your own two feet is anything to do with any of that situation so that’s ridiculous.

“When I spoke to the ref at full-time about it his answer to me was there was so much going on. That’s a cop out because all the so much going on happened after the penalty was taken. If he can’t see that it was a punch and he should have been given a second yellow card then my mind’s blown.

“James Dayton gets sent off yet [Vadaine] Oliver, the substitute who had been taken off by Northampton, runs half of the pitch to join in the melee yet no one saw it, but yet they see James Dayton do something I didn’t manage to see.

“There’s a lot within that that doesn’t make a great deal of sense. I’ll be honest I wasn’t in the greatest position to experience what was going on, I was probably too busy celebrating, but there were some unusual things that came out of it.”