09 October 2012

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Leyton Orient 1 Barnet 0, 9/10/12

David Mooney
A game in which... Orient put in a vintage performance. Unfortunately that vintage was Paul Brush's dire 2002/03 squad. Yes, this was a League Two performance against a League Two club, but let's look on the bright side: we won, we kept a clean sheet and we're through to the next round.

More importantly this was a chance for the fringe players to show what they could do. And what they did was show why they were fringe players. It is, for example, possible to imagine a strikeforce worse than David Mooney and Michael Symes, but only if you picture in your mind a balloon with a face painted on it looking bemusedly at an oil tanker.

Moment of magic... The moment David Mooney cued up an overhead kick in the penalty area, no doubt possessed by the spirit of Chris Tate, who overcame similar suspicion among fans with a bicycled goal against Barnet in 2001. Mooney's no Tate though - it's even debatable whether he's of more use than the similarly-named bag of sugar - and his effort bobbled apologetically towards the keeper.

Moment of madness... The moment in the second half when David Mooney - yep, him again - apparently collapsed under the weight of his own ineptitude in the Barnet penalty area. Save the diving for the Olympic Park, eh Dave?

Knight in shining armour... Tonight seems as good a time as any to hail the qualities of Ryan Allsop, who's been flawless between the sticks of late. The young stopper is like a Glenn Morris who can kick; an Ashley Bayes who comes off his line; and a Jamie Jones who isn't always injured. Long may he continue.

Michael Symes
Pantomime horse... For the second game running - and despite a cameo from Marc Laird - I'm afraid the award has to go to Michael Symes. If I want to watch something slow and cumbersome lumber around a field mournfully then I can simply find a nature DVD that captures the protracted and painful death of a hippopotamus attacked by lions. At Brisbane Road we expect something a bit more from our strikers. Actually we don't, but God knows there must be a better option than Symes if we're looking for size and strength up front?

In the dug out... "SIMPLE! SIMPLE!" yelled Russell Slade at one point, which either means he was concerned that Orient were overcomplicating things or he was trying to attract the attention of Jimmy Smith. Assuming it was the former, then it's a strange message to relay, for the tactics seem to primarily echo that school playground staple 'kick and rush'. And what's simpler than that? Three and in?

Meanwhile on Twitter... This week former Os boss John Sitton took to Twitter this week to offer sage advice to a departed X Factor contestant: "Caroline should exit to the US," he wrote with the benefit of his long experience of the music business. "Will be a great success in Nashville." But who does Sitts himself back in the show? "JAHMENE!!!!!!!!!!!! Vote JAHMENE Or You Can Bring Your Dinner!!" he tweeted, menacingly. Well, you heard him.

Statto corner... Since Johnstone's Paint began sponsoring the Football League Trophy in 2006, they've experienced a 30 per cent drop in sales in east London. "We see no connection between that and the performances of Leyton Orient," said marketing director Nathan Bradley.
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