17 October 2012

Leyton Orient 1 Hartlepool United 0, 16/10/12

A game in which... Orient raced out of the blocks with so much eye-bulging energy it was as if Lance Armstrong had prepared their pre-match hydration. Yes, the home team could have been 3-0 up within about five minutes such was the attacking intent. That we only won 1-0 when we created so many chances is mildly concerning (despite heroics by the Hartlepool keeper) but let's instead celebrate a much-needed victory. Amazing what happens when you try to win football matches rather than not lose them, hey?

Moment of magic... Ryan Brunt's goal - the first at Brisbane Road in 225 minutes of league football - in which Moses Odubajo's cross was so sumptuous that, had he been on the pitch, Michael Symes would have eaten it rather than head it into the net. That's assuming Symes would have been on the end of the cross in the first place, as opposed to ambling round the centre circle idly wondering whether it would be ok to have a fry-up and a kebab after the game.

Moment of madness... Another piece of trickery from Moses Odubajo who, in the first half, somehow managed to nutmeg himself and backheel the ball into touch with no Hartlepool players in the vicinity. Next week: Anthony Griffith bamboozles the opposition by slide tackling himself then stamping on his own ankle.

Knight in shining armour... Odubajo all the way. Time and time again Moses parted the blue sea of defenders and created chance after chance. Indeed, Hartlepool left back Darren Holden may have more difficult nights in his life, but only if he tries to explain the rules of noughts and crosses to Jimmy Smith.

Ever seen these two in the same room? 
Pantomime horse... No bad performances from anyone in an Os' shirt tonight, so instead focus on the blood vessel-busting antics of The Thing lookalike Neale Cooper. At one point the Hartlepool manager unleashed such a loud stream of invective at the Orient bench that it nearly awakened Kevin Dearden from the deep and peaceful slumber he's been in since dropping off during the 1-0 loss to Ebbsfleet United in pre-season.

In the dug out... Tactically Russell got it spot on tonight after making the bold and risky decision to play his players in their correct positions. Full credit to him, too, for not battening down the hatches to preserve a 1-0 lead and continuing to encourage his team to press right up until the final whistle. And what was the secret of the victory? According to Slade it's starting training five minutes earlier. If only we'd known it was so simple.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Spare a though for former O George Porter, who when he's not playing for Burnley (which is all the time) continues to struggle with the everyday realities of life: "Taking pictures of my boiler sending them to my mum because I don't no how to work the heating, living alone is so hard!" Hard indeed, but don't worry Os fans, George has found a way to pass the time: "Why do I always think in can box in front of my mirror when I get out the shower?" In next week's instalment: George calls the police to help him turn on his dishwasher and fashions himself a beard made of bubble bath.

Statto corner... Orient's total of 20 shots on goal tonight was the highest since a game against Hull City in April 1998. That day Carl Griffiths - who was coincidentally just one goal short of his annual scoring bonus - took an unprecedented 73 shot on goal, 65 of which were from his own half.
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