03 April 2011

Charlton Athletic 3 Leyton Orient 1, 3/4/11

A game in which… Orient were sunk by Jamie Jones who, by throwing the ball directly to Bradley Wright-Phillips, committed such a howler that no one would have blinked an eye had he spent the rest of the game on all fours barking at the moon. It was, perhaps, the final coup de grace of Orient’s tactic of playing out from the back - a strategy so easily countered by anyone with two brain cells that even Robbie Savage could figure it out if he asked the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex to help him.

But let’s not dwell on all that, for Jones is the best goalkeeper Orient have had for years and the short passing game is what’s got the team to the dizzy heights of eighth in the division. Moreover, the first half of this game saw the Os put in a near-faultless performance. The play-offs are probably beyond the team now, granted, but let’s continue to bask in the warm glow of a great season.

Moment to savour… A first-half move that was so sumptuous you could have served it up at a royal banquet. Starting down the left, taking in a cheeky little back heel before play switched to the right, it allowed Elliot Omozusi to fire in a cross that Scott McGleish put just over the crossbar.

Head in hands moment… The point at which Orient fans suddenly realised that Jimmy Smith’s headed goal had been disallowed. For what? Perhaps Smith’s socks weren’t regulation elasticity?

King for a day… Tom Carroll - sporting a freshly-shaved head after an outbreak of nits at his primary school - was immense in the first half, controlling the midfield like an 11-year-old Cesc Fabregas.

Boo boy… Sadly it can only be Jamie Jones. And not just for the scouser’s moment of madness that led to Charlton’s second goal either. In the first half he was repeatedly guilty of some unsubtle and pointless time wasting, while in the second he elected to try and dribble round half the opposition outside his own penalty area.

In the dug out… With an ill-fitting white T-shirt slung artlessly over his training top, Kevin Nugent was working the French exchange student look to dazzling effect. Slade, meanwhile, still appears reluctant to give Paul-Jose M’Poku any more than eight minutes to try and rescue a game.

What would Martin Ling have done? Reacted to Jamie Jones’s error by dropping him for the next game in favour of Glenn Morris. “This time I really think Cat can prove he deserves a place in the starting line up,” he’d say, before relegating the keeper back to the bench again two weeks later.

Play-offs? Although mathematically we’re still in with a good shout, current form tells us that even Carol Vordermann would have trouble making the sums add up.


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