18 September 2012

Leyton Orient 4 Yeovil Town 1, 18/9/12

A game in which... Russell Slade proved this joker wrong: "It's antiquated to think football is simply a 4-4-2 system. The game has changed. It's not like that now." (Russell Slade, Leyton Orientear, August 2012) Yes, what a joy it was to see an Orient side bristling with energy, purpose and attacking intent - and playing two up front at home. Sure, the approach was direct, but the intensity repeatedly left the Yeovil defence as exposed as a topless princess in a private French chateau.

Moment of magic... An incredible five-minute spell of showboating towards the end of the game which featured a Jimmy Smith backheel, a couple of Moses Odubajo stepovers and no less than three - yes, three - attempts on goal by substitute David Mooney, only one of which ballooned towards the corner flag. Less the Harlem Globetrotters, though, more the Leyton Cheap Day Return To Canvey Islanders.

Moment of madness... Ryan Brunt's over-exuberant celebration of Kevin Lisbie's goal, resulting in a need for medical assistance. What's he going to do if David Mooney scores - lop his own leg off with a chainsaw?

Knight in shining armour... So impressive was the Orient performance tonight that pretty much the whole team could stake a claim to the man of the match award. Allsop, Chorley, Griffith, Lisbie, Brunt and Smith were all particularly good, but let's focus on Dean Cox. Playing on the left in the second half he repeatedly got on the ball and created opportunities by cutting inside - much as he did throughout the 2010/11 season. Which begs the question as to why Slade persisted with playing him in the middle for so long, a decision akin to convincing Al Pacino to star in an amateur dramatic production of The Mousetrap, only to assign him the role of the corpse.

Pantomime horse... No bad performances from any of the Orient team tonight, but one-time Premier League referee Keith Stroud made up for it with a series of increasingly bizarre decisions, not least his denial of an Orient penalty when Nathan Ralph brought Ryan Brunt to the ground with all the finesse of an inebriated Somerset farm hand attacking a love rival with an oversized scythe.

In the dug out... When Yeovil pulled the score back to 2-1 just after half-time it looked for a moment as if we might be heading for a repeat of last season's soul-destroying capitulation to the Somerset side. But, fair play to Russell, he had a smile on his face tonight, so either everything was going to plan or Kevin Dearden was reworking his much-loved comedy routine of repeatedly breaking wind and then pointing at Marc Laird accusingly.

View from the opposition... "Orient passed the ball well and really capitalised on some poor Yeovil defending," says Glovers fan Sheridan Robins. "Your number nine always looked a threat and we failed to deal with him. Orient looked a better side than last season but if Yeovil had scored when on top at 2-1 I think it would have been a different story as your heads would have dropped."

Meanwhile on Twitter... Os fans could do far worse than following Lee Cook. The diminutive winger mixes incisive analysis of celebrity women - "Kelly Brook #withoutthembangersyouwouldworkindixons" and "Mila kunis looks as ropey as shit in the papers today!", for example -  with horrifying tales of mowing down innocent animals in Essex: "Bare road kill in woodford! So far 2 squirrels and a rabbit in a pickle!" It's like George Porter meets Ray Mears.

Statto corner... Tonight Orient amassed more shots on goal in a single game than they managed throughout the entire 2011/12 season.
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