Late, but as promised - as I'm in Peru, this is a largely YouTube-fueled analysis, but hey, if it's good enough for Sven, it's good enough for me. Leeds came into this game unbeaten at home, while Leyton Orient were enjoying an excellent season. Cue a huge crowd at Elland Road, two goals from dodgy refereeing, and some decidedly weak Leeds midfield play.
Leeds were on the back foot at first, with Leyton Orient receiving two free kicks - both of them a little dubious - in the first ten minutes of play. The second, from a rather dubious Sebastien Carole foul, led to the first goal of the game. I might not be convinced it was valid, but it was a beautiful free kick from Orient's Sean Thronton. Here it is on YouTube.
Tresor Kandol - one half of Leeds's superb striking partnership - put an easy shot way over the crossbar early on in the first half, starting a trend of poor-finishing that persisted throughout the match, and ultimately cost Leeds the win. The best chance of the first half, though, came from Orient's Jason Demetriou in the 25th minute. His excellent strike curled towards the Leeds goal, but bounced harmlessly off the post, and was the last dangerous Orient before the game swung perilously against them in the 32nd minute. After a sloppy challenge on Leeds's Sebastien Carole, in which he appeared to elbow the player in the face, Orient's goalscorer Sean Thornton received a straight red card, reducing his side to ten men and putting them firmly on the defensive for most of the rest of the game.
Leeds were firmly in control and on the offensive at the start of the second half, and it was only a matter of time before one of their shots - a fantastic curling effort by Tresor Kandol - made it into the net. Considering the number of shots on goal Kandol had during this match, however, it's a wonder he was only able to make one of them count: sometimes he looks like Leeds's best player, while at other times like he'd struggle to hit a barn door. Sebastien Carole, for my money Leeds's best midfielder, also had a fair number of chances to score, but couldn't make any of them count.
Kandol was given a golden opportunity to put Leeds in the lead - and make up for his finishing deficiencies - when Orient's Paul Terry fouled Sebastien Carole (who's becoming a magnet for fouls at the moment) in the penalty area. The subsequent penalty will live on as one of the worst Leeds have seen in a while: Kandol appeared to be under the impression that he was playing rugby. If that man is ever allowed to take a penalty for Leeds again, I'll take back every nice thing I've ever said about Dennis Wise.
And then, Leyton Orient won the match. Only they didn't. Kind of. Orient's Adam Boyd took a shot, which Casper Ankergren saved, then fumbled. The ball rolled over the line before being thrown out by a contrite-looking Ankergren. The referee failed to notice that Leyton had, in fact, scored the match-winning goal and called for play-on, despite 10 incredulous Orient players protesting. Leeds retained their unbeaten status with a deserved, but wrong, draw.
leeds.theoffside.com Man of the Match: Nigel Miller (the referee). Seriously, who else can we pick? If he hadn't disallowed our last goal, Leyton Orient would have broken Leeds's unbeaten run. Thanks, Nigel.