14 September 2012

Leyton Orient 1 Brentford 0, 13/9/12


A game in which... Orient ground out a win so ugly that even if it were the only girl in Faces nightclub, Gants Hill, Jimmy Smith would still be reluctant to crack on to it. By Christ it's going to be a long season if this is the only way we're going to pick up points, and there are some serious questions about our ability to actually string any meaningful attacks together.

But let's focus on the positives: the defence held firm for a second consecutive clean sheet; the midfield wasn't totally overrun and the goalkeeper didn't get injured. Rejoice.

Moment of magic... A goal born on the practice pitches of Stoke City Football Club, in which Potters loanee Ryan Brunt got on the end of a scramble after a long throw into the mixer from Rory Delap... sorry, Nathan Clarke. But, hey, Orient aren't going to score from many exquisite lobs, bicycle kicks or 28-pass moves this season so lap it up while you can.

Moment of madness... When Premier League referee Phil Dowd prevented what would have been a certain failed attempt at goal when he stumbled into Gary Sawyer like an embarrassingly drunk uncle at a wedding staggering onto his feet to dance to Rihanna's Umbrella while shouting "I've still fucking got it!" Thanks Phil.

Knight in shining armour... Anthony Griffith put in something of a performance today and proved that he could well combine the skills of a slightly less good Stephen Dawson, a slightly less good Matthew Spring and a slightly less good six-foot garden fence. A slightly better Solomon Taiwo, in other words.

Just beat Michael Symes to the ball
Pantomime horse... Michael Symes. Now, [adopts Bernard Manning voice] I'm not saying that the 28-stone beefcake is immobile, [clears throat] but I'm sure I saw him overtaken by a glacier at one point. [taps microphone] Joking aside, the striker was repeatedly outjumped, outrun, out-thought and out to lunch. Ryan Brunt to start against Yeovil.

In the dug out... It's taken over 50 games, but for the first time in about 18 months Orient actually played better after Russell Slade's half-time team talk rather than worse. Not so much a rocket up their arse, but at least a small, barely flickering indoor firework. This is progress.

Word from the opposition... "I thought that we dominated the game," says Ryan Donovan of Life On The Bee Roads blog, not unreasonably. "The team showed that they are comfortable with the ball and have the ability to pass teams to death. Unfortunately the finishing just wasn't up to much has been apparent all season. Douglas, Forshaw and Forrester best players for us tonight. Unfortunate to come away without anything to show. Orient were a bit scrappy but Cox looked handy as did your number 8."

Meanwhile on Twitter... Welcome to Twitter ex-Orient skipper John Mackie! The big defender-turned-greengrocer uses the social network for an entertaining mix of football banter - "Come on the Os! Fucking liven up" - market-related pleas for help - "Looking for any unique mens or ladies clothing to sell on busy camden st stall" - and outright abuse: "The FA should also ban steve Evans from eating anymore food aswell!the fat horrible c*nt". Most touchingly, however, John provides restaurant advice to former celebrity females, as shown in this reply to Lisa Snowdon. Sadly Lisa is yet to visit the fruit stall. Or reply.

Statto corner... So far 100% of Orient's goals this season have come from set pieces. But this team have a long way to go to beat the squad of 1994/95, who maintained this record for 46 games, albeit through scoring only three goals the entire season, all of which came from the head of Colin West.

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