Three trialists score in behind-closed-doors friendly at Boots & Laces
Southend United drew 3-3 with Leyton Orient in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Boots & Laces this afternoon.
Trialist Dan Fitchett gave Blues the lead before two from Kevin Lisbie and one from David Mooney put Orient 3-1 ahead.
Blues fought back though with two more trialists getting on the scoresheet; Josh Rees making it 3-2 before Mark Carrington levelled inside the final five minutes.
Phil Brown included six trialists in his squad, five of whom started. Marvin Wijks, Conor Clifford and Carrington were in midfield with Don Cowan and Fitchett in attack. Rees was named on the bench.
Aaron Tatham, Jack Payne, Luke Chambers and Ryan Auger all started for Blues, with Chris Barker and Luke Prosser the only two established first team players in the starting XI. Orient on the other hand named an experienced side with eight players who were in the Orient squad for the JPT second leg all playing a part at Boots & Laces.
Orient started the brightest and were almost ahead inside a minute as Shaun Batt’s excellent volley came back off the post. He then blazed over from close range after a good ball from Lisbie.
The striker was denied by the woodwork again on 15 minutes as his shot cannoned back off the crossbar with Luke Chambers well beaten.
Having been on the back foot, Blues should have taken the lead through Dutch winger Wijks, but he fired well wide from 12 yards after Payne had done well to cut the ball back.
Phil Brown’s side did take the lead three minutes later as, what looked like a cross from Fitchett deceived the Orient goalkeeper and looped in.
Orient responded and Lisbie levelled 13 minutes later. Having been fouled by Barker in the penalty area, Lisbie stepped up and missed the spot kick, but tapped home the rebound.
Lisbie then put Orient ahead with 55 minutes gone as he drove home from 20-yards before ten minutes later Mooney controlled brilliantly before firing past Chambers to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
It looked as though Orient would coast to victory but Blues battled their way back into the game as Carrington teed up Rees, a half-time substitute, who curled home to reduce the deficit.
Carrington then got himself on the scoresheet to level the match. The midfielder was on hand to tap home after good work from Seedy Njie who had come on at half-time.
It proved a worthwhile exercise for Brown who after the game named two of the trialists in his squad to travel to Madrid. The travelling squad will be announced on Sunday.
Blues: Chambers; Auger, Prosser, Barker, Tatham; Wijks (Njie 45), Clifford (Rees 45), Carrington, Payne (Edwards 60); Cowan (Pinnock 60), Fitchett.