06 April 2012

Leyton Orient 0 Notts County 3, 6/4/12

A game in which… Orient didn’t so much as shoot themselves in the foot, but blasted off their whole legs with a bazooka. Make no mistake, for the first 65 minutes this was a much improved performance in which the Os not only retained possession but also – unlike the games against Charlton and Huddersfield – created numerous chances. The fact that they couldn't convert any of them or avoid conceding three goals at the other end, however, means that we are utterly doomed.

Moment of magic… The sweeping counter-attack early in the second half that teed up Jimmy Smith on the edge of the area. That he put his shot wide demonstrated that there was more chance of Jonathan Tehoue ordering ‘Just the salad for me, thanks’ at the Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat buffet than Orient actually getting the ball in the back of the net.

Orient's defence
Moment of madness… That horrifying, heart-in-mouth moment when Jamie Jones collected a cross, only to collide with Terrell Forbes – presumably confused as to where he was supposed to be standing having played in 11 different positions over the last six games – and spill the ball. Don’t get me wrong, it was a joy to have Jones back – a typically athletic leap to deny Lee Hughes in the second half reminded us what a talent he is – but it’s a shame he’s playing behind a defence who are about to be served a lawsuit by the Swiss Cheese Marketing Board for blatant copyright infringement.

Knight in shining armour… Today’s man of the match was David Mooney. WARNING! WARNING! FATAL ERROR IN THE INTERNET. EVACUATE THE VICINITY IMMEDIATELY. No, seriously, the former pub team ringer, sorry, Colchester player, got involved, laid the ball off well and set up a number of chances, almost as if he was an actual footballer.

Pantomime horse… Fair play to Jimmy Smith, he never lacks in effort and actually did get himself involved a bit more than usual today. But in squandering so many gilt-edged chances, the shaven-haired lothario’s performance was the footballing equivalent of a night out at Loughton's Nubar in which numerous hot women offer him sexual favours, only to be disappointed when he accidentally throws up on each of them.

In the dug out… Today Russell reverted to the 4-4-2-ish sort of formation that worked so well last year and, were it not for the abysmal finishing, might have actually paid off. But the manager’s constant tinkering – today Dean Leacock had a crack at right back – and apparent inability to recognise what his best team is meant that once again the Os were ripped apart like a papier-mache clown thrown to the lions.

A word on the opposition… A pretty easy day out for the Notts County players. All they had to do was to sit back, watch Orient miss chance after chance and then wait until the home defence gave them the ball and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you score into this empty net?’ They’ll probably have easier victories, but only if they challenge a group of claustrophobics to a game of hide-and-seek.

Lesson for the day… If, as a fan, you want to continue to follow Orient’s push for League One survival, your money is probably better spent going to Wycombe games and heartily cheering on their opponents.

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