18 March 2023

Ben Garner felt Colchester deserved point at Orient after late comeback

18 March 2023

Ben Garner heaped praise on Colchester after his side produced a stunning late comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw at League Two leaders Leyton Orient.

George Moncur’s penalty and Ruel Sotiriou’s strike put the O’s in a seemingly commanding position.

But Colchester netted twice in three minutes at the death through Connor Hall and Noah Chilvers to salvage a point that boosted their survival hopes.

“It’s always nice to score late on particularly where I felt we deserved at least a point out of the game,” Garner said.

“We showed fantastic spirit, togetherness and I thought we were the better side for large spells of the game.

“We had good opportunities to score but didn’t take them and then we went two down against the run of play at that time but we kept going and credit to the lads because from the moment I walked in their application and willingness to work for each other has been top drawer and that’s what got us that point.

“There was a break in play just after they scored and I took the opportunity to get the lads in and just said to them ‘focus on getting one goal and get us back in it. If we get one then anything can happen and the game can turn’.

“We kept going though and second half I thought we were excellent. It was a brilliant equaliser from Chilly in the dying seconds but like I say it was the least we deserved.”

Orient boss Richie Wellens bemoaned the shortcomings of his side.

“I think if you look at the whole game I am quite happy with a point because we didn’t well play from the first minute,” he said.

“We was off it but the biggest disappointment for me was our body language. We are winning 2-0 with more or less the 90 minutes up and we don’t organise from a set-play.

“We’re really slow and we are playing against a team who are fighting for their lives down the bottom of the league. They sprint to get the ball from the corner and we didn’t pick up the markers and we allow someone to get across the front of us.

“With their equaliser we kicked it down the middle of the pitch where we didn’t have any physical presence and they picked up the second ball.

“We did not play well though. I am always performance based and a realist and if we don’t play well then I will say it so let’s not kid ourselves

“The pitch is poor and really difficult for us. It’s boggy in areas and they play it long and one of my central defenders vacates his area and they exploited it.”

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