28 April 2012

Hartlepool United 2 Leyton Orient 1, 28/4/12

A game which… ended with Orient celebrating like an unattractive beauty queen who's won a pageant by virtue of the fact that all her fellow contestants had the previous night contracted a flesh-eating virus. Yes, sometimes losers do win, and while Orient’s performance was another familiarly flaccid string of defensive errors and limited attacking prowess, the fact that Wycombe, Chesterfield and Exeter all lost means that the Os will be playing League One football again next season.

Moment of magic… Notts County’s winning goal against Wycombe, consigning the Sofa-heads or whatever they're called to relegation and ensuring that even when Orient lose to Rochdale next week, they’ll still be safe. Forgive me if I’m being churlish, but aside from the 1-0 victory at Oldham back in March, Orient’s own battle against relegation was about as spirited as an after-party at a teetotallers’ convention.

Moment of madness… Ben Chorley’s reaction to Hartlepool’s second goal when, true to form, he started wildly berating everyone around him… until he realised there was actually no one around him and the goal was entirely his own fault. This was preceded by giving an earful to Leon McSweeney after the first goal, probably upset that the Irishman hadn’t offered him a custard cream on the coach or something.

Knight in shining armour… Jamal Campbell-Ryce, whose lively display and superb goal was really the only ray of hope in the shroud of darkness that’s enveloped the Orient team. His performances may suggest to Russell Slade that having a flair player in the team other than Dean Cox can actually be quite handy.

Pantomime horse… Probably Chorley again, though to be fair the whole defence looked as shaky as a trifle in a wind tunnel.

In the dug out… So, Russell Slade has had one wonderful season and one dreadful one. Since we stayed up, the former excuses the latter, but the gaffer is more likely to get an offer from B&Q than he is Barnsley this summer, so hopefully he can focus on rebuilding the Orient squad.

Meanwhile on Twitter… “Best of luck to Notts County, Hudders and Yeovil” tweeted Leon McSweeney before the match, a stirring call to arms for an Orient victory reminiscent of Iain Duncan Smith at his very finest. George Porter, meanwhile, showed how focused and up for the game he was with this: “A jelous woman does more work than the F.B.I.” It was actually left to former O and current star of Bambi On Ice, Loick “Robert” Pires to give some proper advice: “DO NOT RELY OR DEPEND ON OTHERS.”

Lesson for the day… DO RELY AND DEPEND ON OTHERS.

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