16 February 2014

GUEST POST! Preston North End 1 Leyton Orient 1, 15/2/14

So last weekend I did a 1,000-mile round trip to watch Orient lose to Peterborough in the dying moments of the game. Won't be doing that again. But don't worry, because once again Andy Brown - Orient blogger for WAGU and The Two Unfortunates - is here to give us his view on the Os' trip to Preston...

Preston's Craigggggg Davies
A game in which… the match (and the officials) were overshadowed (and overwhelmed) by the passing away of Sir Tom Finney, a football legend and Preston hero. And, naturally, like all big occasions, it played out like two terriers squabbling over a squeaky toy for 90 minutes. 

The game also saw the much-heralded return of Eldin Jakupovic, Lloyd James back in the midfield, Shaun “Battman” Batt on the bench and Romain Vincelot sporting a shorter haircut, as he'd figured out something drastic was needed after three less “Samson-like” performances. 

The game itself was largely forgettable. Preston had marginally more chances, and with the help of the officials ended up with a draw from a suspect penalty. Orient looked far better organised but failed to string much together in the way of passing, though they were only denied three points by “Bambi-on-Ice” star Craig Davies.

Moment of magic... Kevin Lisbie defied gravity to majestically soar 10 feet above two giant Preston defenders to knock down a long ball perfectly into the path of Baudry to drill home for 1-0, suggesting that he could easily have picked basketball instead of football, with a calculated hang time of at least five seconds.   
Moment of madness... Preston keeper Declan Rudd’s superb star jump save from three metres outside his box that stopped a drilled goal-bound shot from going in, that was “missed” by referee Whitestone. Meanwhile Os fans are hoping to get some Preston “invisibility dust” in time for two important home games coming up against Stevenage and Swindon.

Nathan Clarke
Top gun... A tough one. It was either Matthieu Baudry (unfortunate penalty notwithstanding), who was Orient’s best attacking threat all game, had a great volley saved and scored a cracking drilled shot; or freshly signed contract-man, Captain (Nathan) Clarke. Peerless at the back, he played with all the stature of a jolly green giant, heading away anything and everything that Preston could throw at him.

Little donkey(s)... goes to referee Mr Whitestone and his linesmen, who decided that given the magnitude of the occasion the normal rules of football should not apply. This includes fouls, goalkeepers handballing a long way outside the area and Craig Davies’ impression of a ragdoll every time he got close to, or inside, Orient’s 18-yard box. 

In the dugout... Russell Slade made the changes needed to shore things up after some unconvincing recent performances and unwise comments about fans “staying away” after sarcastic applause directed at Shwan “butter fingers” Jalal against Bristol City. He wasn’t happy with the result though, claiming a dive from Davies and a blatant handball from the keeper. Good to see Russell was watching, even if the officials were not.

View from the opposition... Naturally the game was secondary for Simon Grayson as all media questions were about Tom Finney. Grayson said: “It was absolutely fantastic here today. It was very sad news last night but as a mark of the man, people have shown their respects all across different football clubs."

Craig Delew keeps his word
Tweet of the week.... A cracker this week, as Orient fan Craig Delew said he would personally clean the dust off the East Stand seats if Eldin Jakupovic came back to the club. He was true to his word! 

I also promised to give top Os fan Darwin Dan a shout. If he hadn’t got us that taxi, we might never have made the game for kickoff-top man, Dan.
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