29 September 2012

Leyton Orient 0 Doncaster Rovers 2, 29/9/12

A game in which... Orient looked about as comfortable as John Terry at an Afro-Caribbean poetry night. Yes, the away team were physical and niggly but fair play to them - they took their chances and restricted Orient to vague attempts at defying the laws of physics by expecting Kevin Lisbie to out-jump their gargantuan centre backs.

And while one loss in the last five isn't a major cause for alarm, it's certainly true Orient didn't have any answers to Doncaster's approach. Unless you count bringing on Marc Laird, and if that's the answer then the question must be held under lock and key at Fort Knox in case anyone ever tries to ask it again.

Moment of magic... The moment when Lee Cook - whose meticulous preparation for the game had presumably involved repeatedly running full pelt into an 8ft brick wall - decided to change tack. His novel approach involved sitting on the floor and pirouetting with the ball sandwiched between his feet as if he was involved in some sort of student ice-breaking game in Freshers' Week. Next up: Ryan Brunt tries to bamboozle the Walsall defence by wearing a traffic cone on his head and initiating a round of Spin The Bottle.  

Moment of madness... David Cotterill's ridiculous attempt to try to get Dean Cox sent off at the end of the game, falling to the floor clutching his face like an attention-seeking teenage schoolgirl upset that her eight-year-old sister had just upstaged her at a talent show.

Knight in shining armour.... It was hard for any Orient player to shine when standing within 300 yards of Dean Saunders' suit, but Nathan Clarke didn't have a bad game and Kevin Lisbie did about as much as could be expected of someone being repeatedly attacked by a vicious herd of giraffes.

Pantomime horse... Leyton Orient and referee Nigel Miller have history, for it was the Durham-born official who was in charge for the club's notorious 1-1 draw with Leeds in 2007. Miller's performance that day was so inept that manager Martin Ling nearly blew a gasket. ("I was so furious that I looked at him a little bit disapprovingly at the end of the game," he said at the time.) Today the referee wasn't much better and hindered Orient's cause with a series of decisions that caused so much head-scratching it was like a plague of lice had descended upon Brisbane Road.

In the dug out... "We weren't bright," said Russell Slade after the game, though if you field a team containing Jimmy Smith you're hardly likely to secure a discounted group membership to Mensa. Fair play to the manager, in recent weeks he has hit upon a Plan A ("Try and get a throw in so Clarkey can launch it into the mixer") but Plan B ("Bring on Odubajo, then try and get a throw in so Clarkey can launch it into the mixer") probably needs a bit of work.

Word from the opposition... "We played very well today, one of our best performances of the season," says Donny fan Kieran O'Malley. "Orient had a poor first half but a slightly better second half, with a small spell of chances - but didn't make anything of them. Not great really, though I thought the referee was a bit dodgy at times."

Meanwhile on Twitter... Never let it be said that Orient players aren’t multi-talented - today, for example, David Mooney was spotted reading the match programme and breathing at the same time. But few could match the skills of Lee Cook who can run for 60 minutes of a game and put away culinary delights like the one he tweeted here. “I no your jealous! :)” he wrote before tucking into his meal. Or throwing up over it – it’s hard to tell the difference.

Statto corner... The last time the average height of an Orient team exceeded that of their opponents was in April 1955 when Pat Welton and Les Blizzard came up with the cunning wheeze of nailing three inches of MDF to the bottom of their boots in a bid to gain advantage over Newport County.

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