27 October 2013

Leyton Orient 1 Rotherham 0, 26/10/13

Steve Evans
A game which... Rotherham manager Steve Evans - taking a short break from evading tax and exposing himself to women - described thus: "Second half we've dominated the league leaders from start to end. I wouldn't think Orient have been outplayed like that for a long time."

And while it's no lie that the away side did indeed huff and puff like a Saga excursion to Amsterdam's red light district, they didn't actually create any chances - a huge credit once again to Orient's beast of a defence. We're not going to win every game 4-0 this season, and there are going to be spells in games where we're under pressure, but the fact Orient yet again emerged victorious is more evidence that our promotion challenge can be sustained.

Moment of magic... Another game, another Kevin Lisbie goal - this one calmly dispatched into the net after a goalmouth scramble that bore all the quality of a school playground game of Three And In. Credit too to Super Kev for not rising to the Rotherham players' accusations of goal-hanging.

Moment of madness... The moment Dean Cox managed to miss an open goal from point-blank range in the dying seconds of the game. Admittedly Rotherham goalkeeper Adam Collin did pull off a physics-defying save, but Tiny's sure to be punishing himself for not putting the match to bed - probably by throwing darts at one of the 47 photos of himself that decorate his house.

Top gun... The Orient defence today were missing the Gallic elegance of Mathieu Baudry but were just as resolute in repelling Rotherham's feisty second-half display. Sawyer, Omozusi and Cuthbert were all superb, but once again Nathan Clarke proved he excels at all four of the requirements of a League One defender: brute force; lumping the ball up the pitch; hurling in long throws; tattoos.

Little donkey... [Once again I have to point out that this section of my blog is suspended until any of the team actually start playing badly. In the meantime have this classic photo of Dean Cox in a onesie, which is always worth a repeat viewing.]

In the dug out... "You've got to look at the bigger picture and the smaller picture," said Russell Slade after the game, presumably still trying to convince people to look at his holiday photos from Magaluf. But the manager yet again deserves huge plaudits for keeping Orient at the summit of League One and for swiftly turning down any potential advances from other clubs.

View from the opposition... "Orient fans didn't clap Revell off because he was a good servant for them," wrote Mark Hollyhead 100 per cent incorrectly. "They clapped him off because he's tripe."

Tweet of the week... Orient are getting so much media coverage at the moment, they're even appearing in Hollywood films, as noted by fan Jaime Randall: "Just watching Angels & Demons and all of a sudden the Orient boys pop up."

12 October 2013

Leyton Orient 2 MK Dons 1, 12/10/13

Karl Robinson
A game in which... Orient produced a victory almost as massive as Karl Robinson lookalike James Corden's ego. Yes, this was a big, big result. Big because it was against one of the best sides of the division; big because we came back from a goal down; big because it came off the back of three consecutive draws and a dip in form; and big because the team showed huge spirit in surviving a late - albeit very brief - onslaught from the Dons. A performance that would have made Laurie Cunningham proud.

Moment of magic... The moment in the 90th minute when Dean Cox charged fully 30 yards to chase down an innocuous ball on the touchline, slide-tackling and earning Orient a precious few seconds respite from MK Dons' pressure. The pocket-sized winger has come in for some stick for a couple of below-par performances in the last few weeks but he never lacks for commitment and put in a much-improved shift today.

Alan Smith: Reem
Moment of madness... How about the moment in 2002 when Iain Williamson was officially given licence to referee professional football matches? Or the moment MK Dons' Alan Smith looked in the mirror and thought to himself, 'Yeah, my hair's looking reem'? Or the moment when Orient legend Phil Hoadley took to the microphone at half-time clearly blind drunk and unable to prevent Brisbane Road's cut-price PA system from feeding back like an early-90s Nirvana gig? Take your pick.

Top gun... Where to even begin? Jamie Jones was flawless and pulled off one crucial point-blank save; Clarke, Baudry, Cuthbert and Vincelot were immense; Lloyd James was industrious and creative; Moses was lively and dangerous, especially in the first half; and Mooney and Lisbie combined brilliantly for the second goal. But let's hail another eye-catching performance from Elliot Omozusi, whose defensive endeavour and attacking fortitude were highly significant in today's victory.

The horror, the horror...
Little donkey... [NB: This section of my blog is officially suspended due to the totally unprecedented circumstances currently taking place at Leyton Orient Football Club in which it is impossible to pick out a single player who's putting a foot wrong. Instead here's a picture of Nathan Clarke terror-stricken at the blood-curdling horror of Lloyd James's fashion sense.]

In the dug out... Russell Slade has become quite the celebrity (check out the full-page interview in the Guardian today) and was besieged by a dozen or so press photographers as he emerged from the tunnel. "I haven't let all this attention go to my head," he said shortly afterwards, "but next week I am opening a new branch of Lidl in Epping with Peter Andre and the week after I'm launching my own range of perfume."

View from the opposition... "Anyone in the crowd will tell you a defeat for us today wasn't fair, we were by far the better team," said MK Dons manager Karl Robinson, the most ludicrous statement heard at Brisbane Road since the time Jimmy Smith was heard complaining furiously in Theo's restuarant that he couldn't find a single toad in his toad-in-the-hole.

Tweet of the week... Another example of the everyday travails of a modern French footballer in England from Mathieu Baudry, who tweeted: "How about i pop out to the local store to get some meatballs ...come bk with everything bt not meatballs .im losing it." In next week's hilarious instalment a confused Mathieu goes to post a letter only to accidentally get elected as the Member of Parliament for Leyton & Wanstead.

09 October 2013

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Leyton Orient 0 Coventry City 0, 8/10/13

A game which... was the perfect advert for cup sponsor Johnstone's, in that the spectacle was exactly like watching some of their paint dry. Yes, it was lucky the tickets were only £10 each because, in terms of value for money, that meant they were only £10 overpriced.

So Orient aren't hitting the heights of earlier this season and for most of the match struggled to play the final pass or construct purposeful attacks. On the plus side the defence were superb and all four penalties perfectly executed. And still no one other than a Premier League side has managed to beat us this season. Don't panic!

Moment of magic... Jamie Jones's brilliant penalty save - the first he had to make all match - and clearly inspired by the pre-shoot out pep talk from goalkeeping coach Kevin Dearden. "Right, Scouse. Chicken Cottage on Leyton High Road are doing two-for-one buckets of spicy chicken wings until 10pm so for Christ's sake save a couple so we can get the fuck out of here."

David Mooney's touch is somewhere here
Moment of madness... The moment towards the end of the match when substitute David Mooney was put clean through by Lloyd James. It would have been a certain goal, save for the fact that the Irish striker's touch didn't merely desert him, it booked a one-way flight to Australia and left without so much as a goodbye.

Top gun... Another towering performance by Nathan Clarke tonight, who's proving to be so solid at the back this season it's like having a six-foot brick wall in front of the Orient goal. Which, interestingly, Martin Ling once tried when he needed a bit more mobility than Joe Dolan could offer.

Little donkey... Yohann Lasimant - given his first start of the season tonight - certainly looks cultured. But then again so does a pot of strawberry yogurt and you wouldn't ask that to try to execute a successful pass to a team mate. And while the Frenchman can certainly dribble round in circles, some end product is going to be useful if he's to contribute more this season.

The management... "We're lucky to have Samsung as a sponsor, they have given us a tablet which we used to show Jamie some clips," said Kevin Nugent after the game in a shameless attempt to blag a free Galaxy S4 smartphone to replace the battered Nokia 5110 he's had since 1998. "The lads may laugh," he added, "but none of them have scored over 4 billion on Snake."

View from the opposition... "Hope Steven Pressley sticks this up on the tactics board tomorrow," wrote Sky Blues fan Curtis Armstrong yesterday of the photo below, adding "John Fleck take note." And Fleck did indeed take note of not shooting straight at the keeper when taking his penalty. He put it wide instead.

Tweet of the week... "Why wasn't I born in Spain (Barcelona)" tweeted one-time Orient cry baby Dean Morgan plaintively this week. Pray tell why, Deano: Is it because of Gaudi's impressive modernist architecture throughout the city? Is it because of the proud history of Catalonian nationalism? Is it because of the molecular gastronomy cuisine created by the pioneering Adria brothers? Nope, apparently it's this: "I would love to play in the Nou Camp." Yep, Deano, if you'd been born in Barcelona you'd definitely have a chance of appearing at the Nou Camp. I've heard they're pretty short of stewards at the moment.

Orient by numbers... Two. The number of teeth one unfortunate press photographer has left after being clattered by Moses Odubajo in the first half. "I was lucky," he spluttered after the game. "A colleague of mine got steamrollered by Michael Symes last season. We're still trying to dig him out."
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