01 January 2012
Leyton Orient 1 Charlton Athletic 0, 31/12/11
Moment of magic... The moment towards the end of the match when Ben Chorley blocked Rhoys Wiggins' goalbound shot to preserve Orient's lead. The fact that the Os had failed to get a second goal meant a heart-in-mouth final ten minutes for fans, and Charlton had a number of chance to snatch what would have been an unjust draw. But the backline held firm to record a memorable victory.
King for a day... Tough one this. Butcher, McSweeney, Cuthbert, Lisbie, Forbes and Dawson all put in towering performances... even Jimmy Smith managed to temporarily put aside thoughts of which pair of sunglasses he was going to wear to Nu Bar, Loughton, later that evening to put in a shift fizzing with energy. But if one player stood out above everyone it was former Charlton man Matthew Spring who, with the extra space afforded to him in midfield, showed what a class act he is.
Pantomime horse... No bad performances from any Os' players on the pitch, but there was a chilling reminder of darker times at Brisbane Road in the form of Paul Terry, sitting in the gallery like the ghost of Orient past, come back to haunt the unsuspecting WAGs also occupying the VIP seats.
A word on the opposition... "Refs ad a panic up for me" tweeted red-carded Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer as he watched his teammates try to cope for 84 minutes with only 10 men. Presumably that means he didn't agree with the admittedly marginal decision. No word from him on Jimmy Smith's incorrectly disallowed goal or the penalty that should have been awarded for the foul on Kevin Lisbie, mind. Still, Charlton are a class side and will no doubt be promoted, making Orient's performance - even against 10 men - even more impressive.
Lesson for the day... It's easier to win when we've got more players than the other team. To this end Slade needs to concoct a plan to field 12 men against Stevenage. Dean Cox could certainly play the entire game beneath the referee's eyeline, for example, and Jimmy Smith has previously gone for entire 90-minute stretches on the pitch without a single person in the stadium noticing he was there. Should be simple - bring on 2012!