07 September 2011

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Leyton Orient 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (13-14 pens), 7/9/11

A game which... proved beyond doubt that there is a seventh circle of Hell in which the worst and most persistent sinners are forced to watch Orient play Dagenham and Redbridge in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for all eternity. Putting aside the amusing quirk of the 14-13 penalty shoot out for the moment, this was once again a performance with all the cutting edge of a lump of tofu, not to mention one containing glaring lapses in defence and kamikaze goalkeeping. Apart from that, all good.

Moment of class... Lee Butcher's penalty, in which the stopper's confidence while taking a spot kick was diametrically opposed to his poise when he's actually between the sticks. Perhaps Slade could play him up front against Colchester, because the whole 'goalkeeping' thing isn't really working out for him.

Moment of madness... The shoot out, of course, in which 27 penalties in a row were scored before Ben Chorley's effort was saved. If there's any crumb of comfort in this godforsaken season, it's that we're not too bad at spot kicks. Could come in handy if we make the League Two play-off final next season.

Knight in shining armour... George Porter added a vague sense of urgency when he came on and did well down the right to set up Mooney's goal. No doubt he was fired up as a result of Russell Slade's rousing post-Chesterfield pep talk on the team coach.

Pantomime horse... Every Orient player was pretty much as bad as the next, though let's pick on Marc Laird for no other reason than he appears to be to the Orient midfield what Jason Orange is to Take That - you know there's probably some reason why he needs to be there, but you can't for the life of you think what it might be.

In the dug out... "Now we need five new players!" shouted a West Stand wag as Jonathan Tehoue went down injured in the second half. In reply, Russ resignedly nodded his head in agreement. I admire his honesty, but we really don't need five new players. We need eleven.

A word on the opponents... Plenty of Daggers fans came to enjoy the annual tradition of beating Orient in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and their team did them proud with a tidy and effective performance. For home supporters, meanwhile, the experience was something akin to being tied to a chair while your irritating little brother repeatedly flicks your ear for hours on end.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Never let it be said that Jimmy Smith is not a thinker. Admittedly tweets such as "Food - bath - watch England - bed!!" demonstrate only the most limited cognitive ability, but before tonight's match the midfielder uploaded the philosophical humdinger you see on the left. Translation: Orient's midfield - like branches of a tree we all go in different directions, but we remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Lesson for the day... Well, Orient did field a severely weakened team in a tournament that's obviously a low priority for the club. The only problem is that the severely weakened team is also our first choice XI. Yikes.

And from the darker reaches of Freeview HD...

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