01 May 2011

Leyton Orient 0 Tranmere Rovers 3, 1/5/11

A game which... for Orient was much like strutting up to the Royal Wedding reception thinking you've got an outside chance of pulling Pippa Middleton, only to end the night staring desolately into your pint glass while Princess Eugenie yabbers inanely in your ear. Yes, the play-off dream is over and in truth, Orient looked jaded, allowing Tranmere - playing the match free of any implications - to boss the show. But let this not detract from what has been a season to savour, one that'll live long in the memories of fans.

Moment to savour... It's the delighful Cheery Os dance troupe, whose routine was once again transformed into a racy wet T-shirt performance by the mischievous groundsman who gave them a good soaking via the underground sprinkler system. Just think, if Prince William had spent more time in Faces Nightclub, Gants Hill, he could have been taking one of these hotties up the aisle rather than the prim Kate Middleton. Your loss, Wills.

Head in hands moment... When mini-firecracker Dean Cox called the assistant referee a 'super-c**t', evoking images of a comic book villain that dresses mainly in black and tries to bring down the world by incorrectly calling throw-in decisions and flagging Jonathan Tehoue offside.

King for 20 minutes... For the majority of the game, Orient's attacks were about as incisive as a Fearne Cotton interview. But when Paul-Jose M'Poku ambled onto the pitch with his loping cowboy gait, suddenly - as so often has happened this season - the home side were invigorated. The young Belgian helped create chance after chance and his skills will be sorely missed once he returns to Spurs.

Boo boy... Everyone in an Orient shirt played their hearts out - even Jonathan Tehoue could be seen running all over the pitch as if his contract depended on it - so this is no time for criticism. In fact, I salute each and every player for the effort they've put in this season. Except Aaron Brown, of course.

In the dug out... Russell Slade began proceedings with a little joke. No, not giving Ryan Jarvis a place in the starting line up, but appearing in a wig. It's been a real pleasure to have a manager as passionate, astute and committed as Slade this season, so let's hope it's not a case of hair today, gone tomorrow.

What would Martin Ling have done? Gone for broke in a do-or-die fixture by playing a midfield four of Adam Chambers, Paul Terry, Donny Barnard and a 6ft garden fence. "People say I'm too cautious, but my middle name is danger," he'd say defiantly. "Well, actually it's Nathan, but you get my point."

Next season? Can Orient go one better in 2011/12 and actually make the play-offs? Well, it won't be easy, but if the lowly daughter of a flight attendent can one day become Queen simply by parading up and down in her underwear a bit then there is always hope. Either way, it's sure to be a thrilling ride.
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