24 September 2013

Brentford 0 Leyton Orient 2, 23/9/13

A game which... according to Brentford fans, is like a day out at Wembley for Orient supporters. And they're right: playing against a team nine places below us in League One, with a similar-sized stadium, similar-sized fan base and a similarly empty trophy cabinet certainly does rank right up there with a trip to see Joe Pasquale in pantomime at the Wembley Civic Centre. And besides, we hardly need the Bees to create buzz around Orient at the moment for we are a team in dazzling form.

Make no mistake, this was Orient's second toughest challenge of the season (the first was prising Kevin Dearden out of his canoe with an elephant-sized shoe horn and nineteen cans of WD-40 during the pre-season team-building day) and the fact that they yet again emerged victorious suggests that something very, very special is happening right now. Enjoy.

Moment of magic… Shaun Batt's deftly-finished winner. Given his goal-scoring form, it's almost criminal that the striker has to sit on the bench, but for the moment let's just revel in the fact that we've got a super-sub like the Jonathan Tehoue of 2010/11, only much fitter, faster and less likely to cause a national shortage in KFC popcorn chicken.

Moment of madness… The moment in the second half when Romain Vincelot was brutally catapulted in the air, only for referee James Linington to casually wave play on as if it's totally normal to see a bearded Frenchman attacked by a rampaging buffalo on a field in west London. Yes, Brentford were a talented, but physical side – like a Stevenage with some appreciation of the law against GBH – and it's to Orient's credit that they matched them protein shake for protein shake, despite the lack of protection from the man in black.

French humour, mais oui?
Top gun… Lloyd James was scintillating, Moses Odubajo was dangerous and Mathieu Baudry inexplicably blindfolded himself throughout the entire game for reasons perhaps best put down to the idiosyncrasies of French humour. But the stand out performer had to be Nathan Clarke, who at one point executed a flying, last-ditch tackle in the penalty area so heroic that it's likely he will be knighted by the Queen in the New Year's Honours List and thus hold the least-threatening title in the history of the realm: Arise Sir Nathan!

Little donkey…  It is currently impossible to criticise anyone in an Orient shirt, unless they're wearing it to a wedding or something, so instead let's mock MK Dons manager and tonight's TV pundit Karl Robinson. "It wasn't a penalty, la" was his take on the moment David Mooney was wrestled to the ground in the second half, the most short-sighted proclamation since a blind-drunk Jimmy Smith tried to chat up a hat stand in Faces Nightclub, Gants Hill.

In the dug out... Is there anything Russell Slade can't do at the moment? Best ever start to a season? Check. First victory at Griffin Park in 20 years? Check. Form side in Europe? Check. Miracle cure for baldness? Ch... Well, maybe next week.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber
celebrates Orient's cup final win
View from the opposition... With brazen disregard for originality, Brentford fan Issac Hawkes wrote this: "Well the Orient fans can celebrate winning their cup final tonight but they'll plummet back to mid-table where they belong." WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, ISSAC. We don't belong mid-table. We belong in and around the relegation zone. We still beat you though, hey?

Tweet of the week... This from one-time Matt Lockwood hole-filler Joe Keith: "@leytonorientfc was a great place to be with good friendly staff all around the club whilst Brentford was dreadful with shit fans as well." And, in case you weren't wondering what Joe was up to these days, it's this: "What a wonderful day to be alive. Doing housework singing along to the Arctic Monkeys and looking forward to our game against Lowestoft later." What a legend.

Orient by numbers... 5,238. The number of times the phrase "With Kevin Lisbie up top they've got a bit of experience" has been used by pundits to explain Orient's current run of success. 5,237 of them have come from Steve Claridge.


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