Leyton Orient’s preparations continued with a trip to Gateshead. Although Orient had the better chances during the match, the two sides could not be separated and the game ended goalless.
Orient’s squad included trialist Ayo Okusun and South Shields’ Barry Smith who was called upon by Russell Slade through his local contacts as the O’s were short of numbers following injuries to Scott Cuthbert and Scott Kashket. New man Shane Lowry was named in the starting lineup alongside Mathieu Baudry in the heart of defence. Captain Nathan Clarke also returned from his knee injury to take a place on the bench.
The best chance of the first half was created by the O’s after ten minutes as Dean Cox found Kevin Lisbie with a cross from the left, but the veteran striker couldn’t get his header on target.
Neither side were managing to test the opposing goalkeeper. Both sides were intent on passing the ball but the O’s were enjoying the majority of possession.
Shortly before the break Bradley Pritchard had a good opportunity to score from a corner, but he fired wide.
In the last couple of minutes Lowry had to be replaced after picking up a knock. Nathan Clarke was the man to replace the Australian.
For the second half Gary Woods, Marvin Bartley, Shaun Batt and Chris Dagnall replaced Adam Legzdins, Gary Sawyer, Bradley Pritchard and Kevin Lisbie.
Gateshead were the first to threaten as they fashioned a shooting opportunity, but Woods saw the attempt drift wide of the post. Dean Cox then forced a good save from Heed stopper Bartlett. The O’s winger collected a poor clearance on the edge of the area, before firing a low shot toward the bottom right-hand corner, but the home ‘keeper made the save.
The hosts had to rely on their goalkeeper again when Elliot Omozusi met David Mooney’s cross with a powerful shot on the bounce. Shaun Batt was the next Orient player to test Bartlett, but his curling shot was turned round the post. Dagnall also saw his shot saved after Mooney played him in on goal from a quick free-kick.
Dean Cox finally got the better of Bartlett from a free-kick as the Gateshead goalkeeper was rooted to the spot, but unfortunately for the visitors, Cox’s shot struck the post. Bartley followed it up, but Bartlett produced a great reaction save from close range.
During the second half Harry Lee, Ayo Okusun and Barry Smith were all introduced.
The hosts had a chance to snatch the win late on, but Gary Woods held Rob Ramshaw’s shot.
On the night, the O’s had been denied the victory by a fantastic goalkeeping performance Adam Bartlett. Despite the result,Russell Slade emphasised the importance of the trip in terms of team bonding.
Gateshead: Bartlett, Baxter (Jones 45), Wilson (Gurr 59), Curtis, Clark, McDermott (White 59), Turnbull, Guy (Kanda 59), Rodman, Shaw, Rankine (Ramshaw 53)
Orient will face Football League opposition next as they travel to Northampton Town on Saturday.