28 January 2012

Leyton Orient 0 Colchester United 1, 28/1/12

Not Brisbane Road
A game which... demonstrated that Brisbane Road is less a fortress, more a dolls' house made of no-frills tissue paper, glitter and orphans' tears. Four wins in 15 home league games this season tells its own story, and today was yet another occasion in which the Os followed up an impressive away victory with an utterly underwhelming performance. Disorganised in defence, wobbly in midfield and (two debatable penalty shouts aside) toothless up front... Not to mention more inappropriate passes than a night on the pull with George Porter.

Moment of magic... The out-of-character moment in the first half when Orient did actually manage to string together around 40 consecutive passes - albeit 39 of them in their own half and 38 of them backwards. Barcleona's reputation as the masters of possession is probably safe for the moment.

Moment of madness... Though it saddens me to say it, yet again Kevin Lisbie (as against Preston and Chesterfield) failed to put away his big chance - this time when he was clean through near the start of the first half. It seems he's finally succumbed to that east London-specific virus known as Fletcher-Cureton Syndrome that renders previously prolific strikers entirely impotent until they sign for another club.

Knight in shining armour... Well, no Orient player exactly covered themselves in glory today, but Lee Butcher responded well to the fact that he's imminently going to be dropped in favour of the nearly-fit Jamie Jones with a faultless display punctuated by two sharp saves in the second half.

Pantomime horse... Dean Cox celebrated signing a new three-and-a-half year contract with perhaps his least effective performance in an Orient shirt ever. Assigned the responsibility of what Russell Slade likes to call the "just run anywhere you like and try to, you know, do something" position, the former Brighton man frequently lost possession and misplaced passes. Towards the end of the game he apparently tackled himself in front of the Colchester fans - either that or his only other option was to pass to Marc Laird so he cut his losses.

In the dug out... Somewhat bemusing tactics from Russell Slade today, lining up in a formation which apparently required Smith, Spring, Cox and Laird to all play in exactly the same position. Admittedly the manager did finally give substitute George Porter a late run-out, but by then it was like asking Robert De Niro to make a cameo towards the end of an Ashton Kutcher film - it was far too late to salvage anything.

A word on the opposition... Gargantuan defender Tom Eastman will have particularly enjoyed today's game as it will remove the need for him to partake in heading practice for the next three years, such was the regularity with which Orient popped the ball up towards his bonce. Aside from that Colchester were well-organised and effective and but for Gavin Massey's jaw-dropping miss at the start of the second half would have had the game sewn up even earlier.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Nothing out of the ordinary from our usual suspects this week so let's instead dwell on the self-proclaimed "lone wolf trying to find his way", ex-O Loick Pires. The former star of Bambi on Ice boasts a Twitter feed that mixes culinary ruminations - "Am I the only person out there who can eat cereal at any time of the day?" - with deep philosophical posturing, such as "Why do pigeons exist?" Best of all, however, was this: "I'd love to be a comedian. Imagine the buzz you'd get from making people laugh all the time." How quickly you forget the crowd reaction to your appearances at Brisbane Road, Loick.

Lesson for the day... Hey Russell! As the fat girl said to the supermodel, there's nothing wrong with a bit of width.

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