28 April 2014

GUEST POST! Leyton Orient 2 Tranmere Rovers 0, 26/4/14

My record of games I've come back from Berlin for is played three, lost three. So you're actually much safer in the hands of Andy Brown - Orient blogger for WAGU and The Two Unfortunates - who filed this report from Brisbane Road... 

A game in which... Fresh from back to back defeats (one deserved and one not), Orient decided to shake the sand out of their regular season flip flops and cruise to a comfortable win against a Tranmere team that usually comes to Brisbane Road to mess things up at this time of the season.

Orient played the same neat passing football that they did against Wolves, but were seemingly feeling charitable in the final third, as time and again Cox and Mooney failed to conjure up anything convincing against a nervous and indecisive Tranmere team. True, the visitors played much better in the second half, but never really put a telling or dangerous ball into the box as veteran striker Ryan Lowe seemed more intent on trying to start a fight with angry Scotsman Scott Cuthbert. Only going to be one winner there, Ryan…

Moment of magic... Chris Dagnall decided that the best thing to do with Tranmere keeper Owain Fon Williams’ miskick was to hammer a stunning 40-yard shot into the far corner of an unguarded net. It was an outrageous and sublime piece of skill that had it been Rooney or Beckham you would never stop hearing about it, but as it was Orient it'll probably never be mentioned again. Either way, it was Orient’s best long range effort since Dean Cox decided to mock Walsall by scoring from the halfway line.

Moment of madness… David Mooney must have received a bang on the head at some point during the game, because he decided that he was going to try and score directly into his own net with a full stretch diving header that scraped by Jamie Jones’ post from a Tranmere corner. It had fans scratching their heads and hoping that Orient are never so short of personnel that he has to play centre back.

Top gun...  Once again on-loan Everton midfielder John Lundstram was the standout performer, working tirelessly and linking Orient’s play together. Romain Vincelot also put in one of his finer performances, busy and industrious, winning the ball back for Orient with a dogged display that resulted in one of our more comfortable victories this season.

Shaun Batt
Little donkey... With the stature of a giraffe, legs of gazelle and coordination of a hippo, Shaun Batt looks and plays like something conceived in mad professor Frankenstein’s  laboratory in an attempt to create the perfect footballer. Sadly, “Battman” never has the same impact when he starts as he does when emerging from the bench and yesterday was no different. His running and general presence got him into good positions a few times, but with a complete inability to decide what to do with the ball once he gets into those positions, it’s not a lot of use.

In the dugout... Orient’s bald tinkerman is busy preparing his dossier for prospective opposition ahead of Orient’s playoff charge. “We call it the war room and have a picture of Winston Churchill on the wall, as he was up against great odds,” Russell Slade told reporters, prompting hysterical laughter. Slade had to make changes to compensate for the lack of any proper full backs (sorry Gary Sawyer) so Moses Odubajo dropped in at right back as Cuthbert came back into central defence with Baudry out. As a result Orient looked more like a 4-3-3 with Batt playing as a wide third striker, suggesting Slade may be trying a plan B for the play-offs, until he brought on James in the second half and reverted back to a more conventional 4-4-2.

View from the opposition... Ronnie Moore wasn’t available for comment as he was down the bookies, but his replacement manager John McMahon bemoaned the mistakes by his team, in particular Owain Fon Williams, conveniently forgetting the fact that the Welshman made a brilliant one handed stop to keep the game at 1-0 in the second half.

Fancy Dress of the week... It’s the last away game of the season so what do you do? Dress as a bunch of wooden Gerry Anderson puppets, obviously.  It’s what he would have wanted. Yup, it was Hartlepool’s last away game of the season, a quick hop down to Plymouth, so in traditional fashion several hundred decided to dress as Thunderbirds. A bit more PC than 2011's Oompa Loompas, eh lads?
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