02 April 2012

Charlton Athletic 2 Leyton Orient 0, 31/3/12

A game in which... the Orient team had presumably forgotten to put their clocks forward the weekend before, since when Charlton kicked the game off at 3pm, the Os were still ambling round the pitch in a gentle warm-up. Russell Slade's team did finally wake up 15 minutes in and had a few sporadic spells of possession throughout the game, but possession doesn't win football matches, otherwise Barcelona would be the best team in the world. Oh, hang on...

Moment of magic... He leapt like a salmon, he was fearless in the face of danger... No, not a new comic book superhero who tries to save the world by fumbling round objects and tripping over his shoelaces, but loanee goalkeeper non-extraordinaire Paul Rachubka. The former Man Utd man (yes, you did read that correctly) pulled off a remarkable double save in the second half to keep the score at 1-0, before ruining all his good work by failing to come out to meet the cross that led to Charlton's winner.

Moment of madness... The moment when George Porter was caught napping as Charlton took the quick free kick that led to their first goal. No doubt it's tiring work driving round Essex wolf-whistling at girls all day, but the young winger really needs to pay more attention during matches.

Knight in shining armour... It was an afternoon of performances as flaccid as a Brisbane Road burger (where the imminent danger of gastroenteritis is much more threatening than the Os' attacks.) I suppose Matt Spring played ok though.

Pantomime horse... Ok, so Terrell Forbes isn't a natural left back, but that shouldn't really excuse another performance that wasn't so much a car crash, more a motorway pile-up.

In the dug out... Russell Slade's decision to go into the game with Terrell Forbes and David Mooney lined up on the left was like a gladiator going in to battle with one arm tied behind his back and a massive fluorescent arrow painted down one side of his body with the words 'STAB ME HERE' emblazoned on it. Worse still, once Syam Ben Youssef came on in place of the injured Scott Cuthbert, it turned out he was a perfectly adequate full back, begging the question as to why, in an injury crisis, he hadn't actually been on the pitch before.

A word on the opposition... Let's not forget Charlton are top of the league and, as opposed to our last meeting with them, actually had 11 players on the pitch for the majority of the game. That is, we were hardly going to win anyway. What is worrying is Orient's consistent inability to turn possession into any meaningful attacks.

Meanwhile on Twitter... This week key members of Orient's glorious promotion squad of 2005/06 such as, erm, Derek Duncan and Aiden Palmer have been talking up a John Mackie-organised reunion on 12 May. "John Mackie #ledge apart from that time he tried to fight efe! Lmao" tweeted Duncan. "hahah Mackie hated Efe with a passion!" replied Palmer. And while the thought of the uncompromising Mackie squaring up to Echanomi conjures up an image of an ageing hippopotamus trying to attack a whippet, I wish them all the best on their night out...

Lesson for the day... Despite the impressive win against Oldham, we're not out of the relegation mire just yet. And with Jordan Rhodes versus Paul Rachubka on Tuesday night - which may resemble using an anti-aircraft missile to wipe out a small, frightened gerbil - there's more trouble ahead...

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