15 August 2010

Leyton Orient 1 Charlton 3, 14/8/10

A game in which... Orient embarked on a new tactical era. Over the last 10 years strategic policy at Brisbane Road has apparently been to pack the team full of players under 5ft 6in and then lump a high ball into the box and hope for the best. Under Russell Slade we now have a number of 6ft-plus behemoths in the side, towards which we lump a high ball and hope for the best.

Actually, to be fair, in the first 30 minutes or so Orient passed the ball around with some purpose, before the age-old problems (inability to break opposing sides down, no width) reared their ugly head.

Moment to savour... It's an unusual gambit to leave the mascot on the pitch once the game has kicked off, but it paid off, as 11-year-old schoolboy Dean Cox put in a delightful curling cross to allow Scott McGleish to score.

Head in hands moment... Matthew Spring's second corner which, identically to his first, was aimed directly at the nearest Charlton player. So for Orient this season it looks like "success from a corner" is going to be limited to a trouble-free purchase of The Sun from a local newsagent.

King for a day... New captain Stephen Dawson showed great endeavour in midfield in his home debut. He also seemed a pretty adept mime artist, as he recreated Alan McCormack's penalty-area handball for the benefit of all four corners of the ground.

Boo boy... In the spirit of giving fresh, young talent a chance to flourish, the West Stand was fully behind youth team graduate Mike Cestor for all of three minutes, before verbally tearing him apart for a couple of ponderous moments. Still, there's much to admire in Cestor - he will get better.

In the dug out... Russell Slade, as ever looking like a benevolent if somewhat world-weary PE teacher at a local comprehensive, adopted a formation which apparently tasked all four midfielders with running in a straight line down the middle. Strange decision to leave Tehoue on the bench and bring on Porter too. The jury's still out...

You're supposed to be away... Poor turn out from the Charlton fans and little inventiveness in their chanting - 'We're top of the league' being the best shot. Not for long...

What would Martin Ling have done? Promised in the post-match interview that he would continue his search for an 'even bigger' striker, before making an audacious midweek attempt to buy Julian Joachim from Hinkley United, claiming 'He can do a job for us."

Going down? Losing to Charlton isn't a catastrophe and there were enough positives in the first half to suggest Orient could well make that coveted 20th spot their own once again this season.
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