18 March 2015

Leyton Orient 0 Barnsley 0, 17/3/15

A game in which... Orient did not concede a goal. Even though Barnsley are a classy side. Even though they had set pieces. Even though they went down to ten men.

And given that for the majority of the season our defence has been leaking like someone trying to collect water with a sieve from the foot of the Niagara Falls, this is some achievement. So, yeah, we didn't score ourselves either but God knows the players gave it their best shot and created enough chances to have emerged worthy winners. A point is better than none, but it's the performance that should give us all hope we can survive.

Jump off your seat moment... Picture what it might look like if you tried to raise a crumbling skyscraper a couple of millimetres off the ground using a car jack. This is some approximation of the moment Darius Henderson heaved himself towards a perfect Andrea Dossena cross, bits of plaster falling from him as he did so. The goal was gaping, yet somehow the big striker contrived to miss.

Give that man a medal... More excellence from Ryan Hedges, Luke O'Neill, Josh Wright and Alex Cisak tonight, but let's take a moment to discuss Nathan Clarke. Now, the club captain has come in for a lot of stick this season – some of it pretty disrespectful – simply because almost every single goal we've conceded has been due to a catastrophic error on his part. But tonight he was down to his no-nonsense best and has a clean sheet to show for it.

Taxi for... Take a look at this photo. You'd be pretty embarrassed if that was your brother, right? Well it is Josh Wright's brother, but that isn't one millionth as embarrassing as the corner Josh took in the first half in which he managed to stumble over the corner flag, scuff the ball a yard in front of him and then stand around sheepishly while his team mates came to the rescue. As they'd say on The Only Way Is Essex: awkward.

"Fuck the technical shit"... Were Fabio Liverani piloting a commercial airliner, I suspect he would spend the entire flight maniacally insisting that the cabin crew move the drinks trolleys two or three millimetres to the left while failing to notice that his plane was plummeting into the sea. What I'm saying here is that the Italian likes to incessantly and pointlessly micro-manage for the duration of each game. But while Orient carrying on playing as they are at the moment, I'm going to trust that he has some idea of what he's doing.

Kevin and his two brothers 
Meanwhile on Twitter... Plenty of tributes to Kevin Lisbie, who may have played his last game in an Orient shirt having gone out on loan to Stevenage. "Words can't describe how much I'll miss Lis," wrote Dean Cox, before going on to use words to describe how much he'll miss Lis: "Great bloke and absolute legend." Matt Porter, meanwhile, said: "Sometimes you get lucky with signings. Kevin Lisbie lived round the corner from the training ground", almost as if the club had no coherent scouting policy even before the Italians turned up. What is true is that there appears to be universal appreciation for a great player, a great club man and a great professional. Kev, we'll miss you.

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