15 August 2012

Capital One Cup: Charlton 1 Leyton Orient 1 (3-4 pens), 14/8/12

A game in which... It appeared that Russell Slade's summer transfer activity had involved popping down to the Olympic Park to offer contracts to members of the Ukrainian weightlifting team. Yes, this was a different Orient that took to the field from seasons past, one apparently chiselled from local granite and lining up in a new formation known as 4-4-GET-IT-IN-THE-FUCKING-MIXER.

But, hey, no complaints - as the game wore on it became apparent this was an Orient team prepared to slug out a result instead of running home to mummy to tell tales on the big kid who wouldn't give their ball back. And if this is what it takes to avoid another season of relegation dogfighting, then I'll drink a protein shake to that.

Moment of magic... Ryan Brunt's winning penalty, coolly slotted into the corner and continuing the fine recent tradition of British teenagers excelling themselves in east London. Expect him to buy a Ferrari Maranello and tout himself to Barcelona within days.

Moment of madness... The decision to let David Mooney take Orient's second-half penalty, the equivalent of an Olympic gymnastics team manoeuvring themselves into a gold medal-winning position and then handing the responsibility of their final balance beam routine to Boris Johnson.

Knight in shining armour... There were a few encouraging performances from the Orient new boys, including skipper Nathan Clarke, midfielder Anthony Griffith and left back Gary Sawyer. But Mathieu Baudry, playing in the holding role and scoring Orient's equalising goal, probably edged it, taking to the game with all the apparent relish of a Frenchman to a horse sandwich.

Pantomime horse... It's that man David Mooney again, who put in a performance of such jaw-dropping ineptitude that if he were an Olympic badminton player then he'd have been banned for deliberately trying to throw the game. The mind truly boggles as to what Slade sees in the Irishman, but his latest catalogue of ballooned misses, poor decision-making and the loss of possession that led directly to Charlton's goal is surely going to relegate him to the bench for Saturday? Please?

In the dug out... So it looks like Russell Slade's got his mojo back and has spent the summer coming up with a clear tactical plan for the season rather than looking wistfully at photos of Barnsley's famous Gateway Plaza shopping complex. That tactical plan is apparently to catapult the ball into the opposition's penalty area via the long throws of Nathan Clarke at every available opportunity. Still, it's got more chance of success than expecting Marc Laird to deftly weight a ball into the path of Jamie Cureton.

Opposition view... Charlton fan Sam Morton says, rather generously: "I think the result was fair to be honest. Some of your players impressed me, mainly Dean Cox who looks a tidy player. I'd also like to applaud your support as it's probably the best I've seen from you."

Meanwhile on Twitter... There's rich pickings this season on Twitter, with a good many of Orient's new crop choosing this as their preferred vehicle for 'banter'. Let's focus first on Mathieu Baudry - @mathbaudry5 - who describes himself as 'Leyton Orient's player' and was thus probably quite surprised to see 10 other people take the pitch in the same colour shirt as him. "forget tennistable and badmington... Juts give medals to china and win time" he tweeted during the Olympics, no doubt causing Gary Lineker to fear for his job. More poignantly, during the closing ceremony he issued a plaintive cry for an absent friend: "where is susan boyle? #britishicone"

Statto corner... Mathieu Baudry's equaliser was Orient's first goal from a set piece since 2001, when a Dean Smith free kick heading towards the corner flag cannoned in off Scott Houghton's backside.

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