SIMPSON THWARTS MONEY’S TROOPS
HE MAY have just watched his side hold the League Two table toppers to a draw but Cambridge boss Richard Money is clearly a hard man to please.
The U’s took the lead in the second half through substitute Jacob Blyth, but were pegged back when Jay Simpson slotted in for Leyton Orient who were denied on several occasions by home keeper Chris Dunn.
And Money, whose team have nine points from their first seven league games, was not taking many positives despite the result.
“Orient played like a team that’s top of the league and we played like a team that’s lost a little bit of confidence in itself, and we need to get that back pretty quickly. There’s a lot of improving to be done,” he said.
The former Walsall boss said his side’s current injury problems are some of the worst he has experienced in his career, and his preparations weren’t helped when top scorer Barry Corr picked up an injury in the prematch warm-up.
“Barry felt his calf,” said Money. “He wanted to go out there and try it, but experience tells you he could make it worse, and discretion is the best part of valour sometimes.
“I’m not going to make excuses though, because we need to be better.
“I expect a lot more than that and I’m sure the crowd do too.”
Orient were also without a key man, as midfielder Dean Cox was confined to the bench. His replacement was on-loan Peterborough midfielder Jack Payne, who came in for his O’s debut.
Josh Coulson could have headed Cambridge in front when he glanced a Luke Berry corner just wide, but it was Orient who created the better chances of the first period.
Simpson hit the post before Connor Essam’s header was impressively saved by Dunn, who also had to be alert to block efforts from Sammy Moore and Paul McCallum.
Cambridge looked much more solid after the break, and took the lead when Liam Hughes’ ball down the line found Mickey Demetriou in space, and he was able to pick out Blyth with a low cross that the Leicester loanee cleverly tucked away at the far post.
But Orient were level 20 minutes later when Mathieu Baudry chipped the ball over the top to find Simpson, who got in behind Coulson and kept his composure to steer a shot past keeper Dunn.
The visitors saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages, but struggled to turn it into clear cut chances, though Dunn pulled off a great save in stoppage time to tip Moore’s fizzing shot from 25 yards over the cross bar.
And Orient boss Ian Hendon said: “Cambridge changed their shape second half to block us up because we were getting in at them easily.
“Against the run of play they got a goal, which rocked us for a while, but credit to the boys for getting an equaliser, and we had a lot of pressure towards the end.”
On Cox’s fitness, Hendon added: “I think it’s probably just a fatigue thing. He hasn’t trained this week and was only on the bench in case we needed him in an emergency.”
idge Cambr HERO: Orient’s bandaged skipper Mathieu Baudry gets up for a header and, below, Jay Simpson equalises past U’s keeper Chris Dunn