16 March 2014

Leyton Orient 0 Brentford 1, 15/3/14

Brentford's footballing heritage
A game in which... Brentford came to east London brandishing their majestic football heritage (one season in the Championship since the 1930s and three Johnstone's Paint Trophy final defeats) like a giant inflatable cock. Yes, Orient were honoured to host such a well-endowed club when all we've got is Tiny Cox, but in the first half the Os demonstrated exactly why they're still fighting for automatic promotion with a thrusting performance.

To be fair to the Bees it's a deluded portion of their fans that show no respect to Orient rather than the club itself, and the way their players and management celebrated their hard-fought victory - like they'd just been told that Hooters are to open a new branch in Brentford town centre - is a better indication of quite how far our "little" east London outfit has come this season.

Moment of magic... The delightful interplay between Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney in the first half that set up the latter with clear sight of goal. Unfortunately instead of doing what any self-respecting League One striker should do and sticking his laces through it, Moons elected to try to replicate the once-in-a-lifetime lob he executed at Swindon earlier in the season. Next week: Gary Sawyer tries to Cryuff turn a routine clearance on the basis he once almost did the same after tripping on his laces playing for North Devon under-12s.

Moment of madness... The moment referee Robert Madley (justifiably) sent off Brentford's James Tarkowski early in the second half, thus denying Leyton Orient any opportunity to actually equalise. Yep, like a boxer who's unable to land a single punch on a one-armed opponent, the Os are inexplicably inept at scoring against 10 men. It's a wonder opposition teams don't just start the game one short - or with Jimmy Smith in midfield, same difference.

David Mooney: Probably shouldn't look in the mirror
Top gun... Right, let's get this straight: Orient did not "bottle" this game, they were undone by an excellent Brentford side. No shame in that. Cox, Mooney and Lisbie all combined well in the first half before fading; the defence were pretty resolute throughout; and in the first 45 minutes Vincelot almost looked like he'd justify the inevitable man-of-the-match award in the Supporters' Club. But to be brutally honest, if all the Orient players took a long hard look in the mirror (maybe just a quick glance if you're David Mooney, you don't want to alarm yourself) they'd have to admit all the best performers on the pitch today were wearing a Brentford shirt.

Little donkey...  Yeah, so no one played particularly badly - it's just that for Orient to win big games like this they need a number of the team to play blinders, rather than play as if they're wearing blinders. They've done that many times this season but today just wasn't one of those days. No need to put them up before the firing squad just yet - these players have been heroes to a man this season, and - as Wolves' draw with Shrewsbury demonstrates - there are twists and turns at the top to come. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!

In the dug out... "Donaldson's gone in as if it's a bar brawl," said Russell Slade of the Brentford striker's dainty slap to the face of Romain Vincelot, suggesting that if you ever get into a fight in an East End pub, you're not going to get much back up from the Orient manager. Slade seems somewhat unpopular with Brentford fans, who've shown that their Photoshop skills are right up there with their humility by producing the meme pictured here.

View from the opposition... Oh, where to even begin? Perhaps with the plethora of Bees fans (and an embarrassing Posh one) who decided that there's no better way to celebrate victory than by taunting a parody account of one of the opposition strikers. Awkward. And while west London's finest seemed to be upset with Russell Slade's post-match suggestion that they celebrated like they'd won a cup final, this pre-match tweet from Scott James Whittart reveals that the Orient manager got it spot on: "Surely if we win it'll be one of our greatest weekends ever in our history." Yep: #bigclub

YouTube video of the week... This beauty unearthed by Neil Irvine in which Barry Hearn endangers his own life in the aid of positive PR for Orient, and a young Matt Porter proves that awkward, gangly teenagers can one day make it to the top.

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