30 September 2013

Leyton Orient 1 Walsall 1, 28/9/13

Orient fans burn their season tickets
A game in which… dreamy Orient fans were reminded that we don't actually live in a utopia where the sun always shines, the streets are paved with gold and your football team win every single match. Still, it was nice while it lasted and there really is no shame in drawing at home with a very classy and very resilient Walsall side.

Yeah, yeah, so they only had 10 men for most of the game and Orient certainly weren't at their fluent best – there seemed to be more misplaced passes in this single match than the rest of the season put together, for example – but, you know, sometimes things just don't work out. No need to axe the entire team. No need to fire the manager. No need to weep openly on the streets. No need to conduct a ritual sacrificial burning of your season ticket on Hackney Marshes. At least wait until we lose to Oldham next week.

Moment of magic... David Mooney's ninth league goal in nine games, in which the Irishman powered his shot into an open goal almost like he didn't used to regularly miss chances like that two seasons ago. Who'd have have thought back then that Moons would have more goals than Kevin Lisbie? Indeed, who'd have thought he'd have more goals than Jamie Jones?

Moment of madness... Three moments of madness in fact: Walsall captain Andy Butler's red card (unjustified); Romain Vincelot's first yellow card (unjustified); and Romain Vincelot's second yellow card, in which the midfielder showed the sort of pointlessly snooty petulance you'd expect of a top French food critic tasked with reviewing Brisbane Road's infamous pies. Justified.

Top gun... This wasn't a day that Orient particularly clicked, but Mathieu Baudry (or "Frenchie" as he's known to his team mates on account of his penchant for kissing them with tongues whenever he scores a goal in training) once again showed his class at the back and very nearly won the game for Orient at the death with an arrowing header. Omozusi had a pretty good game too.

Dean Cox
Little donkey... It'd be fair to say that this wasn't Dean Cox's finest performance (ditto Brentford). It would be unfair to say that for that reason he should be tarred, feathered and placed in stocks in Coronation Gardens so irate Orient fans can throw rotting fruit at him. After all, even our classiest players are allowed off days sometimes - if they didn't they'd be playing for a big team like Brentford. Oh, hang on...

In the dug out... There was eye-bulging rage on the Walsall bench when referee Graham Scott showed Andy Butler red in the first half, particularly from Jon Whitney, the opposition's physiotherapist-cum-grave digger. Hang on, grave digger? Yes, that's right, when Jon isn't patching up players or trying to fight Kevin Nugent he's shovelling dirt onto coffins. Must come in dead handy.

View from the opposition... "Wha a team" wrote Walsall fan David Harris with scant regard for the convention of using consonants at the end of words. "Go to Orient n r the 1st to halt their winnin streak despite playing most the game with 10 men." Fair play, though it's a measure of Orient's progress that away fans are celebrating securing a point at Brisbane Road as opposed to previous seasons when opposition managers would be sacked if they didn't win by at least three clear goals.

Tweet of the week... "Looking for 3 serious people willing to learn. Earn around your current commitments" spammed former Orient striker Ryan Jarvis this week in a bid to combine playing professional football for York City with flogging a nutritional supplement. "**ATTENTION** 3 DAY TRIALS AVAILABLE NOW!" he continued, perhaps suggesting he's finding it hard to make ends meet at the moment. Shouldn't have accepted that pay-per-goal deal at Bootham Crescent, hey Jarve?

Orient by numbers... 37. The number of times David Mooney was caught offside in today's match, a total only exceeded by inside forward Billy Rees in a game against Norwich City in November 1953. "There was 19 feet of snow that day but the game went ahead nonetheless," chuckled Billy some years later. "I became stranded up to my neck near their six-yard box and stayed there until the following Tuesday when skipper Stan Aldous came to dig me out with his tractor. Lost my foot to frostbite, unfortunately, but I still managed another four seasons for the Os. You couldn't let little things like that bother you."
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