20 January 2014

GUEST POST! Crewe Alexandra 1 Leyton Orient 2, 18/1/14

I wouldn't have been at this match even if I was in the country, as I am banned from the tiny medieval village of Crewe due to an ancient family feud. Luckily Andy Brown - Orient blogger for WAGU and The Two Unfortunates - took one for the team and gives us his take on events...


Robbie Simpson
A game in which... New boy Chris Dagnall made the most stunning debut since a certain Wayne Montague Purser scored a hat-trick in 2003. After a frustrating 45 minutes of having to watch Robbie Simpson lumber about the field like a stoned elephant, Dags decided he was going to show everyone how it should be done, with two clinical strikes within seven blinding minutes that made us wonder if Carl Griffiths was back in town…

Despite not really getting going until the second half, and conceding a suspiciously offside looking goal, Orient matched Crewe for effort in a midfield scrap and it was again Moses Odubajo and Dean Cox who provided the spark. Cox's lofted a ball over the top which Dagnall controlled with one touch, beating programme poster boy Mark Ellis, before lashing across Ben Garratt.

Moment(s) of magic... Dagnall’s brace. His first taken with one touch and second a clinical thumping shot into the bottom corner. The new striker will be making Orient’s thousand other forwards look over their shoulders and while it’s very early to make predictions, his interplay with Cox, James, Lisbie and Odubajo made him look as though he’d been at the club for years. (Jonah alert!)

Moment of madness... Russell Slade’s unwavering faith in Robbie Simpson (in this case ahead of the four other strikers in the bench), which lead to discussions among the Os fans that he must be seeing something really amazing in training that we’re not - or he’s Russ’s lovechild. And that's not to say he doesn’t work hard, but it’s nice if a striker can set up and score goals…

Top gun... Dags was the clear winner, but Odubajo and Cox were also candidates. Captain Clarke had another solid game, denying Aneke with a great stop near the end to prevent a 2-2 draw. This Orient team is very hard to beat and is grinding out wins in tough places, even when not playing brilliantly.

Little donkey... Crewe centre-back Mark Ellis had a comfortable first half with Robbie Simpson, but was run ragged by the guile and clever play of Chris Dagnall throughout the second.

Russell Slade picks his team
In the dugout... Despite starting Simpson ahead of arguably better options on the bench, Russell Slade continues to show the Midas touch and make changes at the right times to win games. Bringing on Vincelot for Ness made Orient’s midfield more combative and solid, and introducing Dagnall won the game. Had he perhaps brought on Loza or Coulthirst, then Orient may have potentially had more goals, but a win is a win!

View from the opposition... Crewe boss Steve Davis was pretty graceless afterwards claiming that defensive mistakes cost his team in the defeat. He did, however, admit that Orient have real quality up front. Thanks Steve - that’s why we’ve scored more than anyone else, so can’t argue with that. Crewe fan Adam Gray was also very gracious, commenting “Congrats on the win, can see why you’ll probably go up.”

Graham Westley: Yeah, well, you too would  be
upset if you were dressed like that
Tweet of the week... Commenting on his debut for Orient, Chris Dagnall displayed typical flamboyancy: “Well that was an alright debut, massive performance from the lads #topoftheleague”. Next week Dags describes getting a hat-trick as “quite fun”. Meanwhile, Graham Westley is back making friends, allegedly telling his Stevenage player to “snap him” (according to Notts County fan Andrew), before Jack Grealish of Notts County was annihilated by this challenge. Way to go Graham. If you can’t beat them, end their careers, eh?

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