18 September 2013

Leyton Orient 5 Notts Co 1, 17/9/13

A game which... on paper, Orient should have won. But as anyone who's supported the Os for more than five seconds can attest, games which we should win "on paper" are almost always the ones we lose. The fact that we actually put Notts County to the sword so emphatically suggests that our winning run isn't just an inexplicable but short-lived quirk of history - like snow-washed jeans or Olly Murs - but a genuine tilt at promotion, if not the League One title itself. Did I just say that?

Moment of magic... So many to choose from, but let's take a moment to celebrate Shaun Batt who - with the best goals-to-minutes ratio of all our strikers - must be sitting on the bench feeling like he's waiting to audition for a part in a West End revival of Grease the Musical only to see John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the queue ahead of him. But with his typically rampaging goal and his assist for Jayden Stockley, he reminded fans that he's a more than able back up for Mooney and Lisbie.  

Half-time entertainment
Moment of madness... Notts County's goal. Slade out! Actually, the madness was restricted to half-time when for reasons that may be loosely associated with something or other, someone was allowed to sing a song about referees down the microphone. Thanks to Orient's late 16th-century PA system the effect was the sort of blood-curdling wail that hasn't been heard at Brisbane Road since Dean Morgan was lightly tapped on the arm by an opposition defender in 2008. 

Top gun... Tonight the Official Romain Vincelot Man Of The Match Award went to... Kevin Lisbie. And why not, hey, for a striker now averaging a goal per game in his eight appearances this season. At this rate he'll overtake the goal-scoring records of Tommy Johnston (36 goals in 1957/58), Peter Kitchen (29 goals in 1977/78), Carl Griffiths (21 goals in 1997/98) and the next best, Chris Tate (5 goals in 2000/01). 

Dean Leacock
Little donkey... There are no weak links in the Orient side at the moment so let's instead take a gratuitous pop at Notts County centre-back and former O Dean Leacock. Russell Slade infamously described Leacock as his Rolls Royce, presumably because he was best kept locked in a garage out of harm's way. Tonight, in the face of Orient's scintillating attacking, the Notts County man must have felt more like he was trying to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in a second-hand Kia Picanto.

In the dug out... What a joy it must have been for Russell to be able to rest Lisbie, Mooney and Odubajo for the latter part of the game and see two of his three substitutes score goals and the other one dribble around in circles near the halfway line. At the moment everything the manager touches is turning to gold - which means there'll be trouble if he goes anywhere near Kevin Dearden's post-match KFC bucket. 

View from the opposition... "Playing three at the back against top of the league away from home when we are without a win all year is absolutely ridiculous," wrote Notts County fan James Pegg, not unreasonably, while Peter Caine added an earthier "Well I ain't paying any more money to watch that shower of shit until things change."

Tweet of the week... Orient's amazing run of form has even got our part-time celebrity fans excited, and this week The Only Way Is Essex star Debbie From The Only Way Is Essex tweeted simply: "east east east London" accompanied by this picture. Next stop Brisbane Road, Debs. 

Orient by numbers... The last time Orient had a positive goal difference of 16 goals was in 1932 after a 16-0 rout of Newport on the first day of the season. "I remember it well," chuckled goalkeeper Herbert Emery some years later. "Our inside left Reggie Tricker was driving the team bus to the game after 13 pints of mild and got us lost somewhere near Pontypool. We ended up having to play the fixture against the Wales under-15 ladies lacrosse team. The Football League were none the wiser!"


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