24 March 2012

Leyton Orient 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1, 24/3/12

A game in which... Orient put in an effort but - like a knight who can't really be bothered to climb a tower to rescue a damsel in distress but does at least have the decency to call the fire brigade - it was hardly a valiant one. Essentially, Sheffield Wednesday are a much, much better team than us and, despite the 1-0 scoreline, didn't really have to break a sweat to take the three points.

Moment of class... Leon McSweeney's perfectly executed penalty area tackle in the second half that surely prevented a goal. Mind you, though the Irishman has a degree from Loughborough University surely even he couldn't figure out why Slade asked he and Terrell Forbes to swap right and left back positions today.

Moment of madness... Slade's second-half decision to take off Adam Reed rather than Dean Leacock to make way for George Porter. A small section of the crowd (i.e. the Orient fans) let the manager know exactly what they thought of that, and Reed himself wasn't exactly shy in letting his feelings show. I'm not saying Slade has totally lost the plot, but he's certainly misplaced it somewhere around the stadium and is going to have trouble finding it again before Tuesday.

Knight in shining armour... Chorley had a reasonable game but once again Scott Cuthbert was the only player to really shine in an Os' shirt. God only knows we might have even keep a clean sheet once in a while had we occasionally fielded a recognised right and/or left back alongside our centre backs.

Pantomime horse... Fair play to Slade, he's finally realised Terrell Forbes isn't a right back. Bizarrely the manager elected to give former Yeovil man a run out at left back today instead, the footballing equivalent of figuring that someone who's just failed their First Aid Certificate might fare better if they were allowed to perform brain surgery.

In the dug out... "The important thing was to stay in it," said Slade after the game, telling you all you need to know about his ambitions for a home game in which three points were crucial. Enough said.

A word on the opposition... Sheffield Wednesday were well-organised, battling and have a fair bit of pace and flair. I would suggest they didn't need to get out of second gear to take the three points, but in truth they didn't even need bother starting the engine.

Meanwhile on Twitter... This week Orient's philosopher-in-residence Jimmy Smith has been trying to tackle the big existential questions of life, via the medium of Only Fools And Horses. He tweeted: "Trigger- iv had the same broom for 10 years, its had 17 new heads an 10 new handles. HaHaHaHa (How the F**K is it the same broom thn LOL)" Clearly this metaphysical conundrum was a bit much for Jimmy and shortly after the midfielder posted the rules you see pictured here, which should help him get through the week without overtaxing his brain.

Lesson for the day... The only time we look even vaguely like scoring was when George Porter came on. Many managers may interpret this as an indication that George Porter should perhaps be allowed more time on the pitch. Russell??

17 March 2012

Leyton Orient 2 Brentford 0, 17/3/12

A game in which... Orient didn't so much as throw the monkey off their back, but flung it into a corner and beat the living daylights out of it. Yes, a home win - the first since New Year's Eve - and a victory by two clear goals, which according to the record books hasn't happened at Brisbane Road since nippy inside forward Frankie 'Sailor Boy' Oliver's goal sealed a victory over Glossop North End back in September 1907*.

Granted it wasn't the most fluid performance - and Brentford blew three big chances to score in the first half - but it was committed and effective and by the second half the victory was a relatively comfortable one. Rejoice!

Moment of magic... The first-half moment when Paul Rachubka confirmed that he wasn't taking part in a Channel 4 Faking It documentary by saving brilliantly from Leon Legge's point blank header and proving he was an actual goalkeeper. Admittedly the perennial loanee's first action of the game had been to let an innocuous ball spoon off his chest and into the path of Brentford's Saido Berehino, but after that he was flawless. As an added bonus, unlike the 78 keepers who've previously turned out for Orient this season, he managed to avoid getting crocked. (So expect him to suffer a bizarre finger injury later tonight while setting the dishwasher.)

Moment of madness... When Russell Slade made his usual 80th-minute substitution and brought on Jonathan Tehoue... only to remember he'd let the Frenchman go two weeks ago and had inadvertently allowed defender Syam Ben Youssef onto the pitch to lead the attack. Full credit to the Tunisian though - he looked more at home up there than David Mooney.

Knight in shining armour... It was a committed team performance today, though Ben Chorley, Adam Reed and Jamal Campbell-Ryce all had particularly good games. Man of the match, however, should go to Kevin Lisbie for a much-improved performance and the fact that - in a break from the time-honoured tradition of Orient strikers - he actually scored. More of that please.

Pantomime horse... No bad performances from any Orient players, so instead let's focus on officiously self-important referee Paul Tierney for trying to book Dean Cox for a wild tackle actually committed by Adam Reed. After Tiny had protested his innocence Tierney pointed the finger of accusation at various other Orient players while Reed skulked self-consciously into the background like a naughty schoolboy about to be disciplined for giving the French exchange kid a wedgie. Ultimately the referee simply gave up and waved play on. Where's David Elleray when you need him?

In the dug out... Today Russell Slade threw caution to the wind and played both Dean Cox and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, the first time he's trusted in that much flair since buying a pair of bell-bottomed jeans in 1972 after a Jefferson Airplane gig.

A word on the opposition... After the 5-0 drubbing Brentford dealt to Orient earlier in the season Bees fans must have come to Brisbane Road licking their lips with all the relish of Jermain Defoe at an X Factor past-winners party. Unfortunately for them their team have been about as bad on the road as Orient have at home so something had to give. Three big chances in the first half went begging and from there the home team were in control.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Jamie "Orient goalkeeper... for now" Jones showed his ongoing dedication to the team week this week when his partner posted a picture of their young son wearing a Spurs shirt. "No chance" the injured Scouser tweeted back before presumably swapping it for an Everton one.

Lesson for the day... It is not, after all, scientifically impossible for Orient to win at Brisbane Road. And if we can defy the laws of physics like this today, who knows what might happen on Tuesday. Calvin Andrew to score?

* Actual fact
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