31 August 2011

Carling Cup: Leyton Orient 3 Bristol Rovers 2, 30/8/11

A game in which... Orient would have sold their own grandmothers in exchange for a win, so don't be surprised if you see 11 elderly ladies with price tags round their necks in the window of the Leyton High Road pawn shop tomorrow morning. When Stephen Dawson scored in added time the players celebrated with such unbridled passion, excitement and relief it was almost as if they'd just been told that Jedward were emigrating to New Zealand forever. And though if you look at the fine detail of the performance you'd discover that, well, there wasn't much fine detail, the important thing is that Orient finally have a platform upon which to start building a season.

Moment of class... Jonathan Tehoue's little bit of touchline trickery - reminiscent of his sneaky shuffle past the Arsenal defence in last season's FA Cup tie - that led to the winning goal. The Beast is so adept at getting Orient out of tight spots he could easily find alternative employment as a can of WD-40.

Moment of madness... Less a moment of madness, more the entire second half. Yes, Orient seemed to be under the impression they were taking part in a Scott McGleish testimonial, such was their willingness to present Bristol Rovers with scoring opportunities.

Knight in shining armour... Stephen Dawson put in a typically energetic midfield performance and should be applauded for electing to shoot in the penalty area to score the winning goal, rather than opting for his usual ruse of poleaxing himself to the ground as if felled by an invisible lumberjack.

Pantomime horse... Leon McSweeney, whose performance in midfield showed all the composure of a teenage boy trying to negotiate the wine list at Pizza Express. The ex-Hartlepool man repeatedly gave the ball directly to the opposition before being moved to right-back, whereupon he was replaced by Elliot Omozusi - the ultimate indignity.

In the dug out... Fair play to Russ, he's trying to address the problems and started tonight's game with a new formation, the midfield diamond. Nice idea, but unfortunately Orient's version rather more resembled a midfield lump of coal.

A word on the opposition... No goal for Scott McGleish, despite Orient's best efforts to gift him one, though the veteran striker did combine well with the impressive Chris Zebroski for Bristol Rovers' first. Still, the Pirates can consider themselves unlucky to come away with nothing after a sprightly second half.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Big news on Twitter this week: Jimmy Smith threatened to leave, but pulled back from the brink and is still relaying essential information such as when he's having a bath, what time he's going to bed and the like. His continued presence will be, of course, a huge relief to Barcelona and Spain star Andres Iniesta, who has become totally reliant on Jimmy's advice such as this: "iniesta relax next time when ya 1on 1 with keeper".

Lesson for the day... At last Orient have found a way to win! Admittedly this only seems to work against League Two teams, but don't despair - at least we'll be in with a fighting chance next season.
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