23 February 2013

Leyton Orient 0 Crawley Town 1, 23/2/13

A game in which... Orient had the chance to put Wednesday's heartbreak behind them and come out all guns blazing. Instead they meekly took to the pitch waving white flags. Or maybe they were bedsheets, for this was a performance so soporific it could have been bottled up and sold as a miracle cure for insomnia.

Given that in the 13 remaining games the team will probably amass the four or five points that'll keep them in the division (best not bet your mortgage on it though) our season is effectively over in February. On the one hand it makes a refreshing change not to be fighting relegation. On the other, expect the next two months to feel like watching an ageing runner with a torn hamstring slowly and tortuously complete the last three miles of the London Marathon in just under seven hours.

Moment of magic... Moment of magic? Tricky one that. Imagine Paul Daniels turning up to a show without his wand, playing cards, white dove or Debbie McGee. Yes, Orient's performance was far from spellbinding, although Leon McSweeney did hoof one from 40 yards or so that only missed the goal by a few metres.

Moment of madness... Russell Slade's decision to bench Moses Odubajo, presumably for disobeying instructions on Wednesday by trying to dribble round people and create chances. Sure, the youngster's probably a bit knackered, but so is Kevin Dearden after walking from the dressing room to the dug out and you don't see him sitting on the bench all game. Oh, hang on...

Mathieu Baudry
Knight in shining armour... Yet again Mathieu Baudry put in a performance with all the class of a French aristocrat gliding majestically through an ambassador's ball as the wives of foreign dignitaries swoon at his feet. But let's instead hail the return of Leon McSweeney BA (Hons), whose earthier Irish qualities and lively running gave us a bit of impetus down the left today. The emphasis being on "a bit". 

Pantomime horse... A while ago I hailed the qualities of Lloyd James. Yeah, sorry about that. For though he is a tidy and sometimes effective player (and is tasked with a relatively unglamorous role), today he put in a shift that even Paul Terry might have been embarrassed about. Time for a spell on the bench? 

In the dug out... To be fair to our management team, there was a flurry of activity in the dug out during the match. Kevin Nugent was scribbling furiously on his notepad trying to work out if it would be cheaper for him, Russell and Kevin Dearden to share a villa in Marbella or an apartment in Corfu for their summer holiday. Slade was questioning physio Nick Dawes on the most reliable brand of diarrhoea tablets to take with them, while Dearden was mentally calculating how much it is physically possible to eat per day on an all-inclusive deal. 

View from the opposition... "Deserved victory," says Crawley fan Warren Lucy. "Always nerve-wracking when it's only 1-0 though. Should have killed Leyton Orient off. Poor atmosphere at Brisbane Road."

Meanwhile on Twitter... Tweet of the week has to go to Val Jacobs for summing up the plight of Os fans thus: "Supporting Orient is a long line of little disappointments with the odd massive disappointment here and there." Meanwhile, exciting news as Orient's number one celebrity fan and all round top fella Julian Lloyd Webber joins Twitter, tweeting football and cello-related banter from @JLloydWebber.  

Statto corner... Today David Mooney broke the Orient record for being caught offside, clocking up an impressive 427 offences. The previous record was held by Steve Watts in a 2001 game against Chesterfield, albeit due to the mitigating circumstances that he spent 38 minutes in the opposition penalty area trying to figure out how to re-tie his shoelaces. 

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