SWINDON Town were held to a 0-0 draw at Leyton Orient on a blustery night at The Matchroom Stadium.
The Robins created plenty of opportunities but were unable to find a way past Jamie Jones in the home goal on a sticky pitch which made for an energy-sapping night’s work for both sets of players.
Paolo Di Canio made four changes to the line-up with Joe Devera returning from a hamstring injury to replace Aden Flint in the heart of the defence. Tommy Miller came in for Danny Hollands, who is recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal, with Raffaele De Vita and James Collins also in the line-up in place of Gary Roberts and Chris Martin. The home side included former Town defender Scott Cuthbert, who began the game at right-back.
The home side got the game underway but it was the visitors, backed by a vocal away following of 794, who had the first chance of the game. A surging run from Raffaele De Vita earned a corner before the Italian drove in the loose ball to Andy Williams whose first time effort flew over with three minutes on the clock.
Matt Ritchie was next to take aim and he let fly with an 11th minute effort which fizzed well wide of Jones in the Orient goal as the rain continued to hammer down at The Matchroom Stadium.
Town looked the sharper of the two sides in the opening exchanges without really testing Jones albeit in difficult conditions. Ritchie found the target on 26 minutes but his side-footed effort was gathered with ease by the Orient ‘keeper.
There was an enforced first half change for the Robins just after the half hour with Aden Flint on in place of Devera, who looked to have aggravated a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Shrewsbury game ten days ago.
The first opening for Russell Slade’s men didn’t arrive until four minutes from half-time with Charlie McDonald volleying inches wide of Wes Foderingham’s goal. That was the best of the first half action with neither side able to break the deadlock going into the break.
Town should have opened the scoring in the 57th minute with a superb driven free-kick in from Ritchie was headed wide by James Collins. It was a guilt-edged opening and the striker just needed a better connection to have beaten Jones who had come out for the cross.
The second Swindon switch, this time not enforced, saw Norwich loanee Chris Martin on in place of Collins in the frontline. Williams went agonisingly close on 67 minutes but his effort, from a De Vita cross, skidded across goal and came back off the post.
The third and final change from Di Canio saw the introduction of Gary Roberts in place of De Vita out wide on the left hand side. Martin drove an effort wide on 78 minutes from a tight angle with the game edging into the final stages.
Attendance: 3,536 (794 from Swindon)
Booking: Thompson ‘53
Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham; Nathan Thompson, Darren Ward, Joe Devera, Alan McCormack (Capt); Matt Ritchie, Simon Ferry, Tommy Miller, Raffaele De Vita; James Collins, Andy Williams
Leyton Orient: Jamie Jones, Gary Sawyer, Ben Chorley (Capt), Scott Cuthbert, Mathieu Baudry, Charlie MacDonald, Moses Odubajo, Lee Cook, Martin Rowlands, Lloyd James, David Mooney
Substitutes: Leon McSweeney, Dean Cox, Anthony Griffith, Michael Symes, Jimmy Smith, Afolabi Obafemi, Elliot Omozusi