After being outplayed for most of the first half a very young Spurs XI eventually fought back to earn a 2-2 against Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road. We were 2-0 at half time and by then the Oâ€™s had also hit the woodwork three times. The teams competed with each other in a substitute free for all during a second forty five minutes that first saw Ryan Mason fire in a Jon Obika cut back and the big man himself glance home a Nathan Byrne cross to equalise with 15 minutes to go.
The few familiar names in the Spurs line up were led by Adel Taarabt who looked like theyâ€™ve been feeding him well at Loftus Road if nothing else. As skipper his idea of leading by example was to give an exhibition of blatant diving and throw a temper tantrum by belting the ball into an advertising hoarding when the ref awarded a free kick against us. Andros Townsend and Danny Rose caused a few problems down the left but in general the more experienced Orient players were the ones creating space and goal threats.
It wasnâ€™t until after the interval when Dean Parrett was paired with Ryan Mason in the centre of midfield that we started to hold our own. Parrett showed the odd touch of class but it was Mason who consistently stood out with quick and accurate passing and some feisty tackling. Up front Obika had a quiet opening when playing virtually by himself but by the end, when we were playing four (!) up front most of the time, he was causing constant problems to the home defence & looking composed and confident especially with his fine run to the byline for the first goal.
When Orient had their best team on the field we struggled defensively with only Calum Butcher & David Button emerging with much credit. Olumide Durojaiye (I think â€“ the tinny sound system plus some entertaining pronunciation from the announcer werenâ€™t the easiest to follow) joined Butcher in the middle in the second half and we looked much more solid â€“ though as I say, Orient had made their own substitutions by then and they still managed to hit the woodwork twice more. Adam Smith in particular had an exciting game at the back, he first handled on the line to give away a penalty for the Oâ€™s first goal and then got involved in some argy-bargy towards the end of the game that saw him subbed rather than sent off.
The team wore 1-11 so there were no clues as to which of them might be in Harryâ€™s thinking. All in all, an entertaining game played at a good tempo, a pleasant change from one of your normal preseason strolls/snore fests.
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