13 August 2011

Leyton Orient 0 Tranmere Rovers 1, 13/8/11

A game which... was such an anti-climax for Orient fans it was like turning up to a Jay-Z gig only to find he's been replaced at the last minute by Cher Lloyd. Yes, three months of hope, excitement and anticipation all came crashing down at the hands of a Tranmere side whose away performance was so textbook it'll be probably be added to the national curriculum next year.

But Orient can only blame themselves for a second league loss, repeatedly giving the ball away in midfield and failing to convert 30 minutes or so of pressure into a goal. It's very early days, of course, but if we want to make the play-offs - like a punk getting ready for a last-minute rendezvous - we need to gel quickly.

Moment of class... A delightful bit of edge-of-the-box interplay between Dean Cox and Jamie Cureton that nearly led to a Stephen Dawson goal in the second half. The relationship between these two diminutive players could be key this season - not least so that Cox can look up to someone without the need for binoculars.

Moment of madness... The point in the first half at which Elliot Omozusi elected to pass the ball right into the path of Tranmere striker Enoch Showumni. The right back's propensity to blight otherwise classy performances with singular moments of madness is something akin to a brain surgeon who spends hours meticulously and delicately performing an operation with a scalpel, only to suddenly declare, 'Fuck it, I'm going to use a pickaxe.'

Knight in shining armour... There were enough positives in Jamie Cureton's performance - his ability to get on the end of knock ons, his intelligent build-up play - to suggest that he could break the Brisbane Road Curse that renders previously high-scoring strikers impotent.

Pantomime horse... Matthew Spring had such a stinker today that, given the size of his nose, it was a surprise he didn't asphyxiate himself. There were no shortage of similar performances last season, and there's surely a question over whether the former Charlton man is the playmaking solution in a season where we're aiming for the play-offs.

In the dug out... You'd forgive Russell Slade for thinking to himself, 'Hey, I wonder if Barnsley's players repeatedly pass the ball to the opposition?' His team didn't click today, but fair play to the manager, he wasn't shy about going for the win, bringing on two strikers and a 6ft carrot in the closing stages.

A word on the visitors... Fair play to Tranmere, they're a hard team to beat and once they went ahead successfully stifled the play. Also credit to the impunity of manager Les Parry who, after deliberately booting the ball down the wrong end of the pitch in a time-wasting bid, claimed to the fourth official that it had simply accidentally spooned off his ankle. You're not Adrien Patulea, Les.

Meanwhile, on Twitter... 'At home bumping this new margz on a hype ting' said Elliot Omozusi - @elliot_nuts - ahead of the day's game, which presumably means he was accidentally colliding with furniture in an excitable manner. Surely a bit of light exercise would have been better preparation?

Lesson for the day: Since Orient are clearly susceptible to 35-yard screamers, perhaps it might be pertinent to try playing the entire defence in midfield against Wycombe to cut down their opportunities to score? Where's Donny Barnard when you need him?
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