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Report: Bristol City 0-0 Leyton Orient

City and Orient shared the points as two of the Sky Bet League One promotion favourites cancelled each other out at Ashton Gate.

Chances were at a premium throughout, but the Robins felt hard done by not to break the deadlock late in the first half when Marlon Pack’s corner seemed to go in legitimately untouched only to be ruled out. 

Orient substitute Darius Henderson enjoyed the visitors’ best moments, but Frank Fielding performed well in keeping his first clean sheet of the season. 

Steve Cotterill shuffled his pack for the first time in league action, freshening things up by bringing Pack and Joe Bryan into the side at the expense of Luke Freeman and Greg Cunningham. 

There was a good tempo about the game early on, but two decent sides were offering each other very little by way of goalscoring chances. 

Wade Elliott and Joe Bryan both provided teasing crosses which threatened to create opportunities but ultimately didn’t, before the visitors were dealt a blow midway through the first half. 

Last season’s prolific strike pairing of David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie had to be broken up as veteran Lisbie was forced off with a shoulder injury. 

In his place arrived serial City scourge Henderson to throw his wait into the O’s attack. 

Before long Henderson was attempting to do what he’s done on several occasions down the years – score against City, exchanging passes with Dean Cox before firing straight down the throat of Fielding. 

At the other end City were feeling aggrieved on 37 minutes when Pack’s inswinging corner seemed to go straight in – perhaps via a touch from Sam Baldock – only for referee Simon Hooper to rule it out for a foul by the City skipper on keeper Adam Legzdins. 

The home team were nearly caught out shortly before half-time by an innocuous looking breakaway, as Mark Little misjudged a high ball allowing Henderson to run clear of Luke Ayling. Thankfully the pace of Little was enough to make up the ground and force the Orient man into a tame shot. 

It was the visitors who started the second half on top, with City taking too long to settle after the restart. 

First Bristolian Lloyd James was allowed too much space to shoot from distance and force Fielding into a sprawling save, before Cox’s cross from the resulting corner was headed back across goal and cleared crucially by Bryan. 

Then Cox produced a similar delivery from the left attacked by Henderson, whose downward header was well stopped by Fielding. 

But once City had got to grips with things, the second half descended into the same chance-free affair as the first half. 

The only chance of note for Cotterill’s side was almost presented to them when Nathan Clarke’s backpass from the six-yard line resulted in Legzdins inexplicably taking a touch and temporarily gifting the ball to Aaron Wilbraham. 

But such was the striker’s surprise, he was unable to sort his feet on in time to take advantage and the opportunity went begging. 

James went close once more from long range, forcing Fielding into another save, before City replacement Freeman fizzed a shot just over the top. 

The home side looked the more likely winners late on, forcing a flurry of corners, but Ayling headed over from Elliott’s final delivery to signal the end of City’s perfect start to the league campaign.