07 December 2013

FA Cup: Leyton Orient 1 Walsall 0, 7/12/13

A game in which... David Mooney undid what was a perfectly respectable afternoon of FA Cup football by getting himself sent off in the 93rd minute - the most pointless and stupid thing he's done since he passed the ball to Michael Symes during a game early last season.

That aside, the virus-stricken Orient side should be pretty pleased with themselves for prevailing over Walsall. Lemsips all round.

Moment of magic... Shaun Batt's incredible dummy in the lead-up to Dean Cox's goal, in which he managed to convince the Walsall defence, his own team mates, the entire crowd and a worldwide TV audience of 38 that he'd just done a hugely embarrassing air kick at a simple chance.

Moment of madness... Oh Moons. Why? WHY? Now banned for three games for a petulant kick at Paul Downing, the Irish striker hasn't so much as shot himself in the foot, but blown off his whole leg with a thermo-nuclear warhead. Genuinely, his rush of blood to the head could be season-defining. Let's hope he at least puts his time off to good use by learning the offside rule, hey?

Top gun... With half the team sidelined by man flu, we got see a bit more of Yohann Lasimant, Johnny Gorman and Harry Lee, all of whom made decent accounts of themselves. On the bench we had Martin Ling's son Sam, who's 13, and a bloke that works behind the bar in the Coach & Horses who once had a trial at Hastings United in 1993. Best player on the pitch, though, was Mathieu Baudry, who in his spare time inexplicably sellotapes an iPhone to his head and re-enacts scenes from the 1979 video nasty Driller Killer, as this photograph demonstrates.

Little donkey... Actually no one played particularly badly and, indeed, the victory was based on a very disciplined performance in defence and midfield. Let's instead focus, then, on the final seven seconds of the match in which Walsall managed to miss 47 clear chances to score, prompting one Saddlers fan to tweet "Please can you have one of your strikers? Any one. We aren't fussy." Yeah, have David Mooney, he's free for the next three games.

In the dug out... Given that Russell Slade's matchday duties mostly involve standing up for 90 minutes and shouting "watch the ball!" at Moses Odubajo a couple of times, he must have been pretty ill to have missed the game - especially as he only lives 45 seconds away. Perhaps he just looked at his own team sheet and thought, fuck this. Bizarrely he could be spotted on the balcony of his flat celebrating Cox's goal - surely a first in football?

View from the opposition... Walsall can probably consider themselves a bit unlucky - not least for Craig Westcarr's free kick which left Jamie Jones frozen to the spot for a full 45 seconds while the ball pinballed between him and the posts. But they didn't seem to have quite the spark they had when they drew with us in September. "We'd still be trying to score if we were playing at midnight," tweeted fan Rob Rowley.

Tweets of the week... Respect to loanee Robbie Simpson who, when he's not missing a last-minute sitter against Preston, appears to be something of a rap star, as shown in this video tweeted from the team's curry night earlier this week.

Even more impressive was fan David Plane's ode to Dean Cox, as tweeted by Paul Graves. But it was Rob Noble, Orient's marketing and partnerships manager, who caught the moment of the night on camera, however, and tweeted this: "Kev Dearden eating the mic. Obviously the curry wasn't enough."
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