United had to settle for a share of the spoils at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon after they’d put visitors Leyton Orient under the hammer, particularly through a dominant first half, only to find themselves pegged back with 15 minutes left to play when the visitors managed to break through a previously stubborn back line.
“It happens in football at every level,” manager Chris Beech said. “I just said well done to the boys because they played really well, especially in the first half.
“We’ve got to make a little bit more of the chances and opportunities we create to make sure we have end product. It’s the neat pass, the good touch or shot we need in those moments.
“We had loads of space on the left-hand side in that second half, and we got into it, but maybe Brennan [Dickenson] was overcooking his crosses a little bit.
“We kept going, we kept plugging away and we were so close off Zach Clough’s free kick at the end. Manny [Mampala] should have touched that really and it would have been the winning goal we thoroughly deserved.”
“Full credit to Leyton Orient for keeping going and like I said pre-game, they’ve got some good players and a good manager, and they’re well supported that way,” he continued. “They’re definitely not just going to give up, particularly in the early part of the season.
“Me and Kenny Jackett were talking about that before the game. All of the teams in every division are optimistic at this stage, nobody throws the towel in, as such, and we certainly don’t.
“It’s something we haven’t done since I’ve been here. I feel for everybody because we worked so hard and definitely, in my opinion, we deserved those three points.”
Another good start saw the Blues take the lead through a stunningly struck spot kick from forward Tristan Abrahams, who made it two goals in four games with his firmly driven effort.
“It was a bit of a soft penalty, does it or doesn’t it touch his arm,” the manager commented. “There were far more handballs in that half that were more obvious and that weren’t given.
“They probably feel a bit hard done by from that but, in my opinion, and I don’t really want to see players get sent off, but the full-back has been booked and then he’s allowed to commit two fouls after that point.
“The one on the byline isn’t the greatest of fouls, it was a bit rough, so yeah, they’ve helped him stay on the pitch by ignoring it. Kenny is always going to take him off at half-time when that’s the case.
“There was frustration that every half-decision went their way, and we seemed to have to work very hard to get ours. Joe Riley ran the length of the pitch, and he was fouled from behind.
“He stays on his feet, and that’s because he’s desperate to score, so it becomes a play-on type situation. I wouldn’t advocate this but if he goes down the lad is sent off and we get a free kick, but there you go.”
And with the aim to share the three-point feeling with the fans come full-time in every game, he said: “We definitely feel we deserved it, but we didn’t get it.
“We’re giving ourselves good moments and we’ve just got to be more ruthless, show a bit more composure. We’re so good and we’ll get one, two or three breakaways a game of two of theirs against four or five of ours, because the lads are so committed and fit.
“We seem to be picking the hardest pass, ignoring the runner or taking the shot too early. It’s those times when we need to slide our mate in so he can put the ball in the back of the net.
“Great effort from the lads for that, and it’s not a criticism, but when you want the win people will look at it not being converted into goals and say the obvious statement to it.
“I look beyond that and say well done for the effort, well done for the hunger, and if we keep doing those things we’ll eventually get it right.”
And on the goal conceded, he told us: “It’s so fortunate for them, it really was. There’s a bit of a big whack up front, we’ve let it bounce and it’s then a tickle into midfield.
“It was very similar to Sheffield United’s goal, and they are so fortunate from the lad’s touch that he is suddenly put through.
“Initially I thought he was offside, he probably isn’t, but if you meet the ball when it first comes in nobody is talking about the rest of it. The half mistake we’ve made since we’ve been back from pre-season has been punished.
“And it came because it went a little bit not on our terms, didn’t it, just through them hitting the front man with long balls. You can’t help but get deeper in those situations, and of course we want to be further up the pitch.
“I was pretty pleased with the response after their goal, we had some good ins, but we have to try to maximise it. We were looking to get ahead again, but we didn’t.
“Looking at all of the goals we’ve conceded this season, we’ve actually had three moments where we haven’t quite got it right and goals have come from it.
“We didn’t deal with an average wide free kick at Swindon, and the Sheffield goal was like this one. That’s very good because we’re seeing the unforced errors come along to less of a degree. That’s important because it means we’ll move on from it.”
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