19 November 2011

Leyton Orient 0 Stevenage 0, 19/11/11

A game which... was as tough as a spelling test at a The Only Way Is Essex cast party. Yep, this was a right old-fashioned ding-dong which, in truth, either side could have won. The majority of the Stevenage team appeared to have been chiselled out of medium-sized bungalows and they were well-disciplined and hard to break down. But the Os deserve credit for matching them physically and carving out a number of chances to squander.

Moment to savour... Kevin Lisbie's cute little flick that gave him a clear run at the Stevenage goal in injury-time. Unfortunately the striker - who impressed again today - was afflicted with a touch of the Curetons and delayed his shot long enough to allow a defender time to tie his shoelaces, text his girlfriend and then put the ball out for a corner.

Moment of madness... David 'Don't call me Rooney' Mooney's first half miss. After some neat interplay between Kevin Lisbie and George Porter the unmarked striker somehow failed to connect with a cross just yards in front of the goal. I'm not saying his reactions are slow, but any day now he's going to start celebrating the news that London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Knight in shining armour... Though his moustache makes him look like a sinister school caretaker with a secret passion for cross-dressing, Scott Cuthbert emerged victorious from his physical battle with powerful Stevenage striker Darius Charles and put in one of his best performances in an Os shirt.

Pantomime horse... A solid performance from the Os, but at times goalkeeper Ben Alnwick's distribution was poor and he was lucky to escape after flapping at one descending ball so much he almost took flight.

In the dug-out... After Moses Obudajo's inspired cameo against Bromley last week, today Big Russ reverted to what's known as the "M'poku' strategy" - leaving a lively winger on the bench for the entire game in a cunning ploy to not actually create any chances. I jest - in fact the manager can be credited with ensuring his team matched an efficient Stevenage side in all departments.

A word on the opposition... Impressive team and travelling support, but manager Graham Westley's apoplectic reaction to every Orient throw-in taken half a yard further forward than it should have been was so wildly out of proportion it was like the United States of America declaring nuclear war on the UK simply because Piers Morgan called Gwyneth Paltrow "an irritating muesli-botherer".

Meanwhile on Twitter... It's been a rough old week for Jimmy Smith. His tweet after last weekend's game in which he threatened a fans' message board poster - "Any o's fan no bunk Moreland get him to contact me ASAP and be brave" - earned him a nomination for the world's daftest footballer. He then spent the week tweeting variations on "breakfast-bath-training-gym-bedtime #LEGOOOOOOO" almost as if he actually wanted to win the prize.

Lesson for the day... Gone are the days when Leyton Orient teams could be out-muscled by the under-11 rounders team from the local girls' primary school. These days the Os will front up anyone - although their mums say don't play too rough and make sure they're home in time for tea.
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