25 September 2010

Leyton Orient 1 Brentford 0, 24/9/10

A game in which... Orient, by defeating the team who earlier in the week beat Everton, proved that they're Premier League class. Well, maybe not, but it was an efficient display and a very welcome three points. In truth, Orient's performance wasn't that different to the games against Huddersfield, Charlton or even West Brom. Like a hungry pensioner approaching the dinnner table without his false teeth, the Os made all the right moves towards the goal, without having much bite once they got there. Still, no complaints: the defence held firm, Scotty McGleish did this thing and we're off the bottom of the table. Rejoice.

Moment to savour... Matthew Spring's Hollywood pass in the first half, a cross-field 60-yarder straight to the feet of Dean Cox, one of the only Orient players able to control a ball in under four touches.

Head in hands moment... Spring again, two minutes later. Clearly delirious with excitement after the above pass, the midfielder attempted a first-time shot at goal from the halfway line. Safe to say it wasn't a David Beckham moment, although it wasn't as bad as a similar Loick Pires effort you can watch here.

King for a day... Elliot Omozusi. Yes, you did read that correctly. Although Ben Chorley was formidable in the centre of defence and Matthew Spring had probably his best game yet for the club - certainly in the first half - the honours have to go to the much-maligned right back. Although things didn't start well - forgetting Gary Alexander no longer plays for Orient he passed directly to him and then clumsily chopped him down - Omozusi got stronger and stronger until, in the final 15 minutes, he became the Os chief attacking threat down the right flank. It was almost like watching a slightly better Stephen Purches!

Boo boy... No one had a bad game, although Jimmy Smith should probably have done a bit better back in his natural position in midfield, as opposed to giving the ball directly to Brentford players with his first two passes, and then spooning a sitter in the final minutes.

In the dug out... Subdued to begin with, Big Russ was finally back to his old animated self by the closing minutes, running up the touchline to give the linesman a barrel-load of invective and then literally hopping up and down on the spot like a Duracell bunny as Orient nearly contrived to throw the game away in the final seconds.

You're supposed to be away... Considering this was a London derby, not too many Bees fans bothered to make the trip. Then again, think of all the other entertainment on offer in Brentford on a Friday night such as... Oh, hang on.

What would Martin Ling have done? Held a defiant post-match press conference in which he'd claim that, despite the doubters, he was right not to sign Nicky Adams. "I asked myself, is he really a better player than Derek Duncan? And the answer, as we saw tonight, is no."

Going down? It'll take a lot more than an edgy 1-0 home victory over a weary Brentford side to keep Orient up, but unless we can sort out our away form these are games we simply have to win. Looking on the bright side, we're only five points off the play-offs. The Championship here we come!

23 September 2010

The top ten Leyton Orient videos on YouTube

10. Chris Tate silences the boo boys

The background: It's April 2001, play-off chasing Orient are 1-0 down at Barnet. Manager Tommy Taylor makes a substitution but, shockingly, it's not leading scorer Carl Griffiths coming on, but headless chicken-impersonator Chris Tate.

What happens: Tate, after being booed by his own supporters, scores two goals, the second a breathtaking overhead kick, to win the game for Orient.

Watch closely for: Miniature midfielder John Martin giving away a penalty at the start of the clip. Thankfully Orient have moved on and never sign players under 4ft 9in anymore... Erm, Dean Cox anyone?

9. Loick Pires shows the nation what he's all about

The background: Manager Martin Ling and then, inexplicably, Geraint Williams appear to be labouring under the impression that Loick Pires is a professional footballer.

What happens: Loick proves otherwise in a Soccer AM crossbar challenge.

Watch closely for: Jamie Jones demonstrating he's probably the best striker at the club.

8. A blaster from Bill Roffey

The background: It's Christmas 1973 and Orient are in the promotion places at the top of Division Two. Full back Bill Roffey is playing his ninth game for the club.   

What happens: Roffey fires an exorcet from 35 yards to give Orient a 1-0 win, the beginning of an 11-year stint at Brisbane Road where he became a true fans' favourite.  

Watch closely for: Ricky Heppolette's mazy run - albeit one that takes him smack bang into the nearest defender.

7. The dawn of a new era - well, almost - at Southend

The background: It's August 2007 and Martin Ling has got rid of virtually the entire squad from the previous season. The first game of the new season at Southend introduces fans to the likes of Mkandawire, Thornton, Daniels and Boyd.

What happens: Boyd pops up with minutes to go to give Orient a glorious 2-1 win and begin an unbeaten run that sees the Os top of League One well into November. Sadly, it didn't last.

Watch closely for: Efe Echanomi's trickery in the build up to the goal.

6. Ooooh... A Terry Howard hatrick

The background: Whitbread, Ludden, Bellamy, Warren... Yes, Orient had a pretty average team in the 1992-93 season. But it did have crowd favourite Terry Howard, who was playing in midfield when Brisbane Road welcomed Mansfield Town in November.

What happens: The Os turn over the mighty Mansfield, with three goals from Terry Howard. He was rewarded with the sack two seasons later.

Listen closely for: The crowd chanting "Ooh Terry Howard! Ooh Terry Howard!" as he runs up to take the penalty.

5. Long hair, a mudbath and an amazing comeback

The background: The fifth round of the FA Cup in 1972 saw Orient draw top Divsion One side Chelsea and, inevitably go 2-0 down.

What happens: Phil Hoadley, Mickey Bullock and Barrie Fairbrother score in a 3-2 win that remains one of the Os most famous and satisfying victories.

Watch closely for: The state of the pitch. After Chelsea's second goal it takes all the strength of keeper Ray Goddard to prise himself out of the mudbath.

4. Tehoue Tehoue rocks Arsenal

The background: It's March 2011 and valiant Orient are seconds away from a respectable 1-0 defeat to a star-studded Arsenal team in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

What happens: Super-sub Jonathan Tehoue displays all the speed off the mark of an ailing oil tanker to bamboozle the Arsenal defence and slot in a goal that rocks Brisbane Road to its foundations.

Watch closely for: Fans on the balcony of one of the corner flats celebrating wildly by holding up the letters OIEN.

3. Matt Lockwood's 13-minute hatrick staves off relegation

The background: It's September 2006 and Orient are already looking nailed on for relegation. They're 3-0 down at home to Gillingham with 13 minutes left on the clock.

What happens: Figuring that the likes of Brian Saah were hardly going to get the Os out of trouble, left back Matt Lockwood takes matters into his own hands and scores three goals, securing a vital point.

Watch closely for: The delightful reverse pass laid on by the underrated Daryl McMahon for the third goal.


2. 14 seconds of madness as Orient secure promotion

The background: May 2006. Orient need to match Grimbsy's result to secure promotion, but are drawing 2-2 with Oxford while the Mariners are 1-0 up against Northampton. It's four minutes into added time.

What happens: Just as news comes through of a Northampton equaliser, Gary Alexander threads a curling ball into the box. Thankfully it falls to Lee Steele rather than the equally well-placed Jabo Ibehre, who doubtlessly would have spooned the ball over the bar off his elbow. Steele makes no mistake.

Listen closely for: Commentator Andrew Buonocore virtually vomiting up his internal organs with excitement.

1. "Bring ya dinner"

The background: February 1995 and Orient are second from bottom in Division Two and losing 1-0 at home to Blackpool. Co-manager John Sitton beings his half-time team talk...

What happens: Where to begin? In two glorious minutes of managerial meltdown Sitton sacks defender Terry Howard and offers to fight two other players.

Watch closely for: One of the greatest sentences in football history: "And you can pair up if you like, and you can fucking pick someone else to hold your hand, and you can bring your fucking dinner, because by the time I've finished with you, you'll fucking need it."

Honourary mentions
Sitton may be the obvious choice for number one but, hey, it's probably the only video that non-Orient fans regularly enjoy on YouTube and we should take whatever recognition we can. The entire Orient: Club For A Fiver documentary is now on YouTube in five parts. And if you're pushed for time, simply get the key Sitton quotes to the the tune of the Prodigy instead. Or, if you prefer your music to be spirit-crushingly awful (David Gray fans, I'm talking to you) here's one former Orient player rapping.
Matt Lockwood's hatrick against Gillingham was of course one of the highlights of his career - the other was his 30-yard goal against Hull City in the 2001/02 play-off semi-final, which kicks off this rather over-the-top tribute to the frizzy-haired left-back, compiled by someone named, spookily, mattlockwood3. You can also enjoy him scoring against Southend in 1998.

This bust-up during an Orient v Brentford game in 1991 is also pretty entertaining viewing, not least for Steve Castle getting tasty with his right fist. The last word, however, goes to a Millwall fan, who has this to say about the travelling Orient support...

11 September 2010

Leyton Orient 1 Huddersfield 2, 11/9/10

A game in which... Orient, like a male porn star who's lost his mojo, just didn't have any penetration. And while the performance against a classy Huddersfield side wasn't totally flaccid - the Os showed remarkable adeptness at repeatedly passing the ball sideways along the halfway line, for example - the ongoing inability to turn possession into chances is going to make the season a long, hard one.

Moment to savour... Incensed that a Huddersfield wall was standing much nearer than the required 10 yards at a free-kick, midfield pygmy Dean Cox paced the distance himself on behalf of referee Andy D'Urso. Admittedly it took his little legs about 35 paces to cover the 10 yards, but he was indeed correct.

Head in hands moment... Huddersfield's second goal, which had something of the school playground about it. The ball popped around the box, spooned off a knee or two and then fell to Huddersfield's Jordan Rhodes, who put the ball in the net via a deflection and to the sound of Orient defenders accusing him of goal-hanging.

King for a day... That man Dean Cox again. His goal was a screamer of a half-volley and he nearly salvaged a point for Orient when his skilful turn and cross in the area crept inches away from the marauding Alex Revell. A bit like a JJ Melligan who can actually cross, or a Shane Tudor who doesn't just run into defenders and fall over, Cox could be the goal-scoring midfielder we've been craving since the days of Alan Comfort.

Boo boy... Ok Jimmy Smith, we know you're playing out of position and everything, but that doesn't really excuse your inability to find an Orient shirt whenever you pass the ball forward. Who do you think you are, Alton Thelwell?

In the dug out... By his reluctance to make substitutions, Big Russ apparently has little faith in his anyone excpet his first-choice eleven. Mike Cestor, for one, must feel pretty aggreived that, despite being the only fit left-footed player in the whole club, he still can't get a game.

You're supposed to be away... To be fair, the travelling Huddersfield support has tended to be one of the best to come to Brisbane Road in recent seasons. Maybe they like us because we let their much-loved striker Andy Booth score in his last ever game?

What would Martin Ling have done? Responded to Orient's growing defensive injury crisis by converting Brian Saah to a left-back, pleading 'Give the lad time' after the opposition's right winger scores six goals in the subsequent match.

Going down? The current league table certainly makes it look that way, and while losing to Huddersfield is no disgrace, the Os have to start picking up points somewhere. Still, if the return of James Walker is a sign that Big Russ is looking to bring back former Orient loanees, then perhaps we can look forward to the likes of Richard Garcia, Simon Church or Gary Hooper helping us to stave off relegation. Probably give Sam Parkin a miss though, eh Russ?

04 September 2010

Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Leyton Orient 0, 4/9/10

A game in which... Orient were so abysmal Russell Slade resorted to bringing on Adrien Patulea to try and salvalge something from the game. If my memory serves me correctly, the Romanian didn't touch the ball one single time during his five minutes on the pitch, which at least meant he couldn't spoon it off his knee into the path of an opposition striker. Still, there's no need to mock Patulea when the whole team played like they were doing a homage to Non-League Day: second to every ball, defensively all over the place and idea-less in attack.

Moment to savour... Football-wise, none, but it was at least mildly diverting to see chippy Hobbit-impersonator Dean Cox squaring up to the Daggers' gargantuan defender Will Antwi towards the end of the game.

Head in hands moment... Elliot Omozusi proved beyond doubt today that he isn't a left-back. He probably isn't a right-back either come to think of it, and was torn apart by Danny Green in the first half. It was a bad idea, then, to try to execute a Cryuff turn to get himself out of trouble 15 minutes in. Needless to say, it didn't work.

King for a day... It's a struggle to find an Orient player that performed well today, but Alex Revell at least looked vaguely like he might score. And on the plus side his hair was immaculate.

Boo boy... Matthew Spring. What the hell? Admittedly he has versatility in his corner-kicks - some sail harmlessly over everyone's heads, while others fail to beat the first defender - but Sean Thornton after eight pints of lager would have been more useful than Spring today. In fact, Sean Thornton has probably played on eight pints of lager.

In the dug out... Big Russ's PE teacher look felt very appropriate at a stadium that is more like a school recreation ground than the home of a League One side but he was unable to prevent his team playing with all the intelligence of an under-11 side.

You're supposed to be at home... The vocal contingent of the home fans appeared to consist of seven teenagers, who spent much of the game baiting the Os support. The rest of the Daggers' faithful were so quiet their minds must have been on West Ham's upcoming home fixture against Chelsea.

What would Martin Ling have done? Indicated to Dean Smith just before half-time that Plan A wasn't working, yet inexplicably send out exactly the same team with exactly the same tactics for the second half, before bringing on Efe Echanomi on 80 minutes and hoping for the best.

Going down? Well, Dagenham & Redbridge probably are and if Orient can't even give them a proper game they could be dropping with them.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...