22 April 2011
Leyton Orient 2 Peterborough United 1, 22/4/11
It was just about what Orient deserved after a tenacious, if not totally fluid, performance. After a start as nervy as a best man at a wedding where he's been secretly shagging the bride, the Os improved throughout the game and edged the second half. Bring on the Carlisle!
Moment to savour... The moment when - shortly before his goal - Ryan Jarvis became so groggy after simply heading the ball that he was staggering around like Sean Thornton on St Patrick's Day and had to receive treatment from the physio. Presumably he was still so disorientated when the chance fell to him in the final minute that he broke the habit of a lifetime and inadvertently hit the target.
Head in hands moment... Unfortunately the moment that poor Gabriel Zakuani temporarily forgot he was no longer wearing an Orient shirt and stuck one in the net for the home side. Gaby, we got £1 million for you, you didn't owe us any more favours! It should be said, though, that aside from that the one-time O had a fine game and served a reminder of the class he brought to our promotion-winning side of 2005/06.
King for a day... Adam Barrett put in a commanding performance at the back, but the honour this week goes to Matthew Spring, the midfield playmaker with the child-scaring nose. It's taken the former Charlton man a couple of games to get back in his stride, but now he's executing his trademark passes back to Jamie Jones with assured expertise.
In the dug out... Once again you have to hand it to Russell Slade. Most fans would rather have brought on a sack of mouldy potatoes than Ryan Jarvis in a bid to win the game, but the manager showed faith in a player who's spent most of the season handing out water bottles and trying to beat his keepy-uppie record of seven at half-time. In Slade we trust!
What would Martin Ling have done? Responded to Ryan Jarvis's winner by instantly giving him another two-year contract. "Next season is the one where I really expect Jarve to push on," he'd say, before sending the striker out on loan to Braintree Town three games into the campaign.
Play-offs? Why the hell not? On Monday Aaron Brown's coming back off loan to score the winner, while in next week's game the re-signed Adrien Patulea's going to score a hatrick. Initial talks are already underway to bring back Sam Parkin for the play-off final.