30 January 2013

Leyton Orient 0 Swindon Town 0, 29/1/13

Paolo Di Canio
A game in which... Orient did well to draw against a classy side whose principle weapon of attack appeared to be taking throw-ins 10 yards further up the pitch than they should have been. Yes, under the direction of a wildly gesticulating and apparently deranged Italian traffic cop who'd presumably ended up in the opposition dug out after a 48-hour ketamine binge, Swindon dominated possession in swirling conditions. But, the Os defence held firm to come away with an important point. 

Moment of magic... Mathieu Baudry calmly and elegantly dribbling his way out of his own penalty area in the first half with such Gallic flair it was a wonder he didn't then light up a Gitane, don a beret and disdainfully pick at a plate of Brie. 

Moment of madness... When Andy D'Urso - a referee unencumbered by traditional notions of consistency - refused to award a penalty for a trip on Moses Odubajo in the second half, thus denying David Mooney the opportunity to shoot tamely into the goalkeeper's arms from 12 yards.       

Knight in shining armour... All the back four were in fine form today, but Scott Cuthbert should get a special mention for some scything tackles, last-ditch defending and a cheeky little handball right before Swindon hit the post in the second half. 

Pantomime villain... Paolo Di Canio, whose relentless stream-of-consciousness ranting and pantomime preening really was something to behold. Most of it was directed at assistant manager Fabrizio Piccareta, who during matches must feel like a babysitter charged with trying to control an attention-deficient toddler who's just mainlined three litres of Sunny Delight and decided to single-handedly re-enact every scene from Annie the Musical.  

In the dug out... Faced with the sophisticated tactics of a sharply-dressed Italian in the opposition dug out, Big Russ did what any self-respecting League One manager would do and instructed his team to: "FUCKING LUMP IT UP TO MOONS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS." To be honest, given the condition of the pitch it was probably the best thing to do, and were it not for a classy save from Swindon keeper Wes Foderingham from Jimmy Smith's shot at the death, Orient could have snatched a slightly undeserved but battling victory. 

View from the opposition... "First half we dominated and deserved a goal," says Swindon fan Dan Johnson. "Richie ran the show. But in the second half Orient started to play and we were poor. Good point for the Os but a poor result for Town. Odubajo was very good and caused us problems. Foderingham once again spared our blushes."

Orient defend a corner
Statto corner... Today's pitch was the muddiest since a game against Hull City in January 1976. "I was up to my knees in it so could hardly move," recalled striker Micky Bullock. "Which was lucky really as I'd had 37 pints the night before with Bill Roffey and Gerry Queen."
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