22 April 2014

Leyton Orient 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, 21/4/14

Chris Dagnall
A game in which... at the 35-minute mark Orient experienced a spiritual awakening, a collective 
consciousness or a divine intervention. Call it what you will, but one way or the other the team suddenly realised that if they actually pass the ball to each other rather than lobbing it over the top for Chris Dagnall to scamper after like an amphetamine-induced laboratory rat, they're actually quite good

Never mind that we ultimately lost the game to the division's best side, for there was enough in this committed performance to give hope that we actually could prevail in the play-offs. And, after the Crawley debacle, that is something to get very excited about.

Moment of magic... The ping-ponging goalmouth scramble in the second half that saw Orient create 37 chances to score in the space of three seconds, most of which were prevented by either the woodwork or the frankly superhuman efforts of Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme. Luck will be a big factor in the play-offs, and thankfully Orient may well have used up their entire lifetime's quota of the bad variety in just this one passage of play. 

Wolves' Richard Stearman
Moment of madness... The moment the referee and linesman elected not to penalise Wolves' Richard Stearman for a handball so blatant that he might as well have bounced the ball down the pitch basketball-style, done a couple of wraparounds and slam-dunked it into Jamie Jones's net.  

Top gun... Dean Cox was in his element today - and by that I mean the game was being televised - and for a 15-minute period at the start of the second half he was utterly unplayable. And by that I mean he got some decent crosses in. I must confess, however, to being slightly bemused by the free role he appears to have been given of late when all the evidence (and by that I mean my totally subjective opinion) suggests he's more effective hugging the touchline and cutting in from the left. 

Little donkey... Actually David Mooney played pretty well today, but he did miss two screaming sitters which, had he dispatched both, would have given an Orient striker 20 league goals in a season for the first time since the year 1426, when Mad Bartholomew Chudderley showed considerable skill in repeatedly scoring with the severed pig's head wrapped in muslin that at that time served as the ball.

In the dug out... Amazing scenes at the final whistle when Kevin Dearden elected to get off of his seat and waddle out to congratulate the Wolves players on their promotion. Unfortunately by the time Orient's Head of Nutritional Sustenance reached the centre circle the opposition's team coach was just approaching the outskirts of Birmingham. Still, he should make it in time to acknowledge Tranmere's efforts in avoiding the drop on Saturday. 

View from the opposition... Decent lot the Wolves fans, who by and large have been pretty respectful about their one-season stay in League One, unlike some other supporters who shall remain nameless (Peterborough). For example: "Fair play to Orient today," wrote Harry Carr. "Gave us a real game. Good luck in the play-offs."

YouTube video of the week... Hardly an event goes by these days without someone making a Hitler parody video of it - there's even an Orient one mocking our disastrous start to 2011/12. This week Brentford fan Russell Hawes got in on the act and created this version that mocks Russell Slade and his badly-received post-match comment that the Bees "celebrated like they'd won the FA Cup" after their victory over Orient in March. 

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