02 March 2013

Leyton Orient 3 Bournemouth 1, 2/3/13

A game in which... Bournemouth strutted onto the pitch with all the confidence of the newly-minted wife of a Russian oligarch sneering disdainfully at some peasant girls while mentally acknowledging she'd still be one of them were it not for her large bosom and 'relaxed' approach to her husband's rampant infidelity. Indeed, in the first five minutes of the match Orient seemed so overawed by the gaudy visitors that it appeared they might well lose 47-0.

They regained their composure soon enough though and went on to dominate most of the next 85 minutes and record a particularly impressive victory over one of the league's supposed high-flyers. Pleasing too was the way the team passed the ball around, almost making one wonder if they might have considered doing that against Southend...

Moment of magic... The sound of corks popping from bottles of discounted Lidl sparkling white wine in Theo's restaurant could only mean one thing today: the return of Kevin Lisbie. Yes, the sight of the only Orient striker in living memory who can actually shoot was a welcome one, and it was fitting that the number nine announced his comeback with a smartly-taken goal.

David Mooney
Moment of madness... Bournemouth left-back Matt Ritchie's decision not to chase back Mathieu Baudry's  hopeful punt forward, no doubt assuming that the lurking David Mooney had all the turn of speed of the Dublin-Holyhead car ferry. Oh, but how wrong he was, because three hours later Moons had just about managed to chase down the ball and cut it back for Charlie MacDonald to slot into the net.

Knight in shining armour... Plenty of Os players shone today: Baudry (bien sur!), MacDonald, James (yes, Lloyd James, what of it?) and Odubajo for starters. Jamie Jones too made one save in the second half that was so spectacular that it would have left goalkeeping coach Kevin Dearden open-mouthed in wonder were he not at that moment trying to swallow two Cornish pasties and a Twix. But let's give man of the match to Nathan Clarke for a flawless display of defensive solidity and one awesome last-ditch tackle on Lewis Grabban in the second half.

Pantomime horse... Whoever's responsibility it was to fill with helium the 32 balloons that were supposed to be released into the air at half-time on behalf of the NHS Be Clear On Cancer campaign. Instead of rising to the heavens, each balloon dropped apologetically to the ground, thus providing a fitting metaphor for the entire history of Leyton Orient Football Club. (More info on the campaign here by the way.)

In the dug out... Full credit to Russell, this season he's proved he can go toe-to-toe with the top managers in the division, and his team's record against promotion challengers is an impressive one. If he could only crack how not to lose to the division's bottom-feeders then who knows what could happen next year after we lose our customary first 10 matches?

View from the opposition... "No leadership on the pitch," says Bournemouth fan Simon Wybrow. "Lost all balance in defence with Daniels out. Surely it's time to give Allsop a go?"

Dean Cox on Come Dine With Me
Meanwhile on Twitter... Kudos to eagle-eyed fan Andrew Ford who this week spotted that our very own Dean Cox was making a cheeky appearance on Channel 4 cookery show Come Dine With Me.

Statto corner... It's a little-known fact that one of the innovations that Barry Hearn brought to the club when he took over in 1995 (along with on-pitch weddings) was a contractual obligation for players to always concede a goal when 2-0 up. "We want to raise the excitement levels at Brisbane Road," he said at the time, "and what better way than to ensure that as many games as possible have a nail-biting finish." Orient have not won 2-0 at home since that day.

(Prostate Cancer UK were also collecting at today's game as the official charity of the Football League. Find out more here.)
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