06 February 2013

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Leyton Orient 0 Southend United 1, 5/2/13

Paul Sturrock... or is it Christopher Biggins?
A game which... demonstrated that while losing football matches is always painful, defeat to Southend is like being strapped to a bed of spikes, set on fire and made to watch Paul Sturrock slowly disrobe. But Orient have only themselves to blame, really: they created enough chances to be 47-0 up at half-time but failed to convert any of them and then did a passable impression of an average League Two side - Southend, for example - for the final 45 minutes. Still, if we win at Roots Hall it will have been worth losing just to have temporarily got the Shrimpers fans' hopes up.

Moment of magic... One driving run from Shaun Batt in the first half that teed up David Mooney perfectly to slot in from the six-yard box. Or at least it would have done had Mooney's first touch not taken the ball to somewhere just outside of Epping. Yes, while both strikers did plenty of good work in creating opportunities, unfortunately neither had the wherewithal to actually put the ball in the net when it mattered.

Moment of madness... Mathieu Baudry's inexplicably weak header in the lead-up to the Southend goal, which hung invitingly in the air for so long that Ben Chorley, watching at home on Sky, had time to send a fax to the club office berating the Frenchman for his ineptitude.

Knight in shining armour... No one particularly covered themselves in glory tonight so let's instead focus on the fact that Jamie Jones - after an uncharacteristically nervous performance against Stevenage - was commanding his area with much more authority. At one point in the first half he charged off his line with all the speed of a Scouse autograph hunter who's just spotted Cilla Black having a ciggy with Atomic Kitten and the entire cast of Brookside.

Pantomime villains... The Southend fans, of course, who did themselves proud by ripping up the seats in the East Stand. I guess they still haven't forgiven us for selling them Marc Laird.

In the dug out... "Don't worry, it's only half-time," said Russell at the end of the game, confusing poor Jimmy Smith who was still to be seen running round the pitch at 10:30pm wondering why he was being afforded so much time and space on the ball. Still didn't score, mind.

Statto corner... Back in the early 90s manager Peter Eustace didn't pay the Football League Trophy - or the Beaphar Care-plus Hamster Food Trophy as it was known then - as much respect as Russell Slade does now. In a first round game against Brentford in 1993, for example, the Orient team contained three ball boys, two tea ladies and five members of the local Women's Institute. "We would have won if I hadn't also given Colin West a run out," said Eustace.
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