08 November 2011

Leyton Orient 1 Hartlepool United 1, 5/11/11

A game in which... there were fireworks. Not metaphorical ones to describe an explosive Orient display, but actual fireworks released over the stadium by local ASBO kids. Terrell Forbes, for one, was impressed and was presumably watching the descending embers in wonder while he clumsily bundled into Andy Monkhouse to hand Hartlepool a penalty.

But let's not be too downhearted: a draw with a classy side with an impressive away record is nothing to cry about and there was a periods in the first half in which Orient looked very threatening. Ultimately though, even with the visitors down to 10 men, you'd have got better odds on Frankie Cocozza hitting a correct note in that evening's X Factor than the Os finding the back of the net.

Moment of magic... The first half moment when George Porter showed so much pace that he didn't simply leave Ritchie Humphreys for dead, but embalmed him, dressed him up in his best suit and conducted a full funeral service. The Hartlepool left-back might have more horredous days in his life, but only if he's strapped into a chair and forced to listen to Johnny Robinson singing songs from the musical Cats for 24 hours on end.

Moment of madness.... The moment when Scott Cuthbert elected to clear a ball from near the corner flag by passing it straight into the middle of his own penalty area. For the most part the former Swindon man has deputised ably for the injured Ben Chorley - same haircut for starters - but the occasional moment of calamity means Chorley's return to the centre of defence will be a welcome one.

Knight in shining armour... The hugely impressive George Porter, who's giving the side attacking intent, balance and, most of all, pace. Indeed, no one's seen such speed at Brisbane Road since Sean Thornton's post-match sprints from the dressing room to the bar.

Pantomime horse... Not the worst performance in the world, but Jamie Cureton has apparently been struck badly by the Brisbane Road virus that renders previously successful strikers totally impotent upon joining Leyton Orient. There's only one known cure for this: grow fat, take your wife's name and join Blackpool. Just ask Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

In the dug out... We've seen a massive change in tactics from Big Russ over the last few games. The manager has boldly thrown out his previous modus operandi of 'Give it to Coxy then hope for the best' in favour of a far more sophisticated 'Give it to Georgie and sometimes Coxy then hope for the best'. Let's hope it continues to pay dividends.

A word on the opposition... While the Hartlepool fans were as quiet as an Only Way Is Essex cast member at an astrophysics quiz night, their team were an impressively tidy outfit. James Poole caught the eye, and the Monkey Hangers could consider themselves unlucky not to have gone one up in the first half when the ball crossed the Orient goal line by about three metres.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Something of an Orient bromance brewing on the social network this week, as Jimmy Smith revealed on Thursday that he was "Chilling in the crib with @dean_7cox", which presumably means they were sharing a child's bed together. No problems for Coxy, of course, but surely Jimmy's legs were sticking out the end? Anyway, things heated up on Monday when George Porter tweeted a photo of the pair of them sharing a bath. Still, good luck to them. Jimmy's a pleasure-seeker after all and tonight tweeted this stirring raison d'etre: "HERE,4,A,GOOD,TIME,NOT,A,LONG,TIME,!!!" Quite.

Lesson for the day... You can't win 'em ell, and if you can't entertain on the pitch at least give the fans something to enjoy in the form of fireworks. Next week: perennial substitute Mike Cestor sets up a touchline puppet show to distract fans from a struggling performance against FA Cup minnows Bromley.
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