02 March 2014

GUEST POST! Leyton Orient 2 Colchester United 1, 1/3/14

Once again I was resigned to following this game via Twitter and Orient Player from a tattoo parlour in Berlin. It's ok though, because Andy Brown - Orient blogger for WAGU and The Two Unfortunates - actually turned up to Brisbane Road. Here's his account of the game...

A game in which... Orient displayed more perseverance and unwavering faith in their cause than a Jehovah’s Witness on your doorstep. It was also so end-to-end it resembled ping pong rather than football.

In the first half Orient ran rings around Colchester’s statuesque Magnus Okuonghae and Tom Eastman – who showed all the mobility of the Easter Island heads - to go into the break one-nil up thanks to a sublime finish from David Mooney.

However, Colchester outmuscled and at times outplayed Orient in the second half and equalised from a header. But just five minutes later fresh-legged substitute Shaun Batt pelted up the pitch, outstripping the Colchester team to slot the ball to Moses Odubajo, who showed great composure to hammer the ball under Walker. Job done.

Moment of magic...With the rest of the Orient team still seemingly in the changing room at half time, Eldin Jakupovic made a stunning triple-save from Us’ midfielder Gavin Massey: first down low to his left, then in the middle of the goal, then down to his right in the space of 10 seconds to keep the game at 1-0 to the Os and proving why Os fans were so right to celebrate his return.

Moment of madness... The moment former Os favourite Jabo Ibehre decided to get a personalised number plate on his smart-looking Audi Q7 (as spotted by Oliver Buck). “What happened to the green Punto?” tweeted fan Phil Waughman in reference to the striker’s less affluent days at the Orient. Jabo is still much-loved by Os fans though, and at one point turned away from five Orient players with trickery to come away with the ball - something we never saw at Brisbane Road and something I don't think he expected to do either.

Top gun... Bosnia's number one Eldin Jakupovic takes the plaudits, despite excellent performances from Mooney, James, Cox and Odubajo, and dogged determination throughout the team. The Vincent Vega lookalike saved almost everything thrown at him and even came close to stopping Colchester's goal, getting a valiant hand to try and keep Bean’s header out, as it just nudged in off the post.

Little donkey… Colchester's immobile back line resembled a flotilla of rusty battleships, but the most inept was former Orient loanee left back Ryan Dickson, who tripped over his own feet while trying to take a throw-in to a raucous chorus of "F**king useless" from the Os faithful. That pretty much summed up his day against Moses, who took his goal tally to 10 for the season.

In the dugout... Once again Russell Slade got it spot on, opting for the stronger physical pairing of Mooney and Lisbie up front, who held the ball up well against a very physical back line. Changes were mostly forced, with Mooney getting a knock to be subbed for Batt, and Lloyd James, who put in a Trojan-like shift in midfield, replaced by the more defensive Marvin Bartley. Orient counter-attacked with real purpose and Batt’s introduction was critical in winning the game for Orient.

View from the opposition... Colchester’s fans (the ones who didn’t smash up the seats) were generally gracious about the defeat in what was a superb game of attacking football. Col U manager Joe Dunne claimed the best side lost, which is a bit far-fetched. Dunne said: “Two switch-off moments have cost us but unfortunately, that’s what you get when you’re (playing a) top of the league (side).”

Tweet of the week... Our very own Latin scholar Assissi supported chief exec Matt Porter’s request that “This group never gives up” should be translated in to Latin and copyrighted as our motto for the season”.  Can’t see it catching on as a South Stand chant, though…
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