26 December 2011

Leyton Orient 0 MK Dons 3, 26/12/11

A game in which... it seemed apparent that the MK Dons squad had spent Christmas Day drinking protein shakes, doing one-handed press-ups and firing themselves up by watching the famous Battle of Agincourt speech from Henry V. The Orient team, meanwhile, had clearly passed the time with their heads stuck down a bumper-sized box of Quality Street while plumped on the sofa sniggering, burping and farting their way through Home Alone.

So despite a relatively bright first half in which, to be fair, Orient could have gone ahead if it wasn't for the fact that their finishing was about as clinical as an operating theatre located in a sewer, the home side fell apart in the second and allowed an impressive MK Dons side to totally dominate and record a deserved victory.

Moment of magic... Not many to choose from, but Lee Butcher did pull off an impressive reflex save with his feet in the second half, diverting a close range shot onto the underside of the crossbar. That said, moments later he was so transfixed by Adam Smith's 35-yard strike that he simply watched in wonder as it sailed into his top corner, almost as if he'd just witnessed the Star of Bethlehem in the east London sky.

Moment of madness... When Jamie Cureton found himself alone on the opposition six-yard box with the ball at his feet and no defender near him, yet still managed to skew the ball onto the post. The fact that he was actually offside is by the by - at this rate you'd get better odds on Barry Hearn revealing himself to be the real Santa Claus than 'the Orient Torres' actually getting the ball in the back of the net before the season's up.

Knight in shining armour... Terrell Forbes tends to go about his business with the quiet efficiency of a mild-mannered mortgage adviser, but seasoned Brisbane Road observers will note he's seldom put a foot wrong this season. Today, in particular, he was imperious at the back in the face of the impressive MK Dons frontline of Dean Bowditch and some fella name of Jabo.

Pantomime horse... Now, Scott Cuthbert has been in superb form in the centre of defence this season, but clearly isn't the answer at right back given that he's got all the delivery skills of a bicycle courier on acid. He's not helped by the Russell Slade's aversion to playing right midfielders in front of him but - and here's a sentence you probably thought would never exist in the whole history of time - it'll be good to have Leon McSweeney back.

In the dug out... Some slightly bemusing decisions from the big man today, not least taking off Matthew Spring to allow George Porter on, when surely Jimmy Smith was the more logical choice given that Spring was actually giving some level of control to Orient's passing, while Smith was, well, you know, running around in circles wondering whether he needed to trim his hair again tomorrow or the day after.

A word on the opposition... To keep things in perspective it should be noted that MK Dons are one of the best sides to rock up at Brisbane Road this season, and Orient did match them throughout the first half. Meanwhile, it's worth remembering that at the end of the 2007/08 season Orient replaced Jabo Ibehre with Ryan Jarvis, which is something akin to a car enthusiast trading in his Ferrari Superamerica 45 for a punctured space hopper.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Thanks to the magic of Twitter we get to discover what Orient players get up to on Christmas Day. Dean Cox was on chef duties, as we can see from this picture which, incredibly, was actually taken inside the kitchen of a doll's house. Scott Cuthbert, too (also pictured), was also cooking - either that or he's moonlighting as a cut-price stripper.

Jimmy Smith was as excitable as ever: "Family getting drunk mum is doing me head in lol have some off my water mum lol #LEGOOOOOO". George Porter, meanwhile, celebrated the festive season the only way he knows how: "They'll be some love making, heart breaking, soul shaking !!" he tweeted before settling down to watch Downtown Abbey on his own with a monster pack of Doritos.

Lesson for the day... Three, in fact. Don't let your best strikers leave! Try not to eat too many mince pies if you're a professional footballer! Right midfielders are helpful!
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