19 August 2015

Leyton Orient 3 Stevenage 0, 18/8/15

A game in which... Orient stared League Two in the face and said "You're not as hard as you think
you are, pal. And you can give me my dinner money back too." Yep, this tough, well-disciplined Stevenage side were a good indication of the type of school bullying we can expect in this division but the Os matched them in intensity during the first 70 minutes, albeit without fully hitting their stride.

That all changed in the final 20 minutes when Orient blew away the opposition with some breathtaking attacking and three goals: one good, another excellent and another that's already contender for goal of the season. Go straight to the top of the class Blair Turgott. And stop picking your nose.

Deano bringing his mazy run to a conclusion 
Jump off your seat moment... So many to choose from, not least Blair Turgott's aforementioned screamer – volleyed straight in from a Sean Clohessy cross, itself a volley – but let's focus instead on the moment Dean Cox decided to dribble around the entire Stevenage team 42 times each. Had he been able to finish from his ridiculously mazy run, it would have been the best goal scored by anyone in any sport in all time. Instead he decided that the only fitting coup de grâce would be to cut a couple of breakdancing moves on the penalty spot while the ball bobbled away to safety. Still, great helicopter.

Give that man a medal... Comparing Bradley Pritchard's performances of this season with last is like comparing the complete works of Beethoven to the sound of a spoilt six-year-old screeching for more sugar while repeatedly scraping her fingernails down a blackboard. And then vomiting. Tonight the former Charlton man made sweet, sweet music in midfield with another display that hit the right notes. (Honourable mentions too to Sean Clohessy and Sammy Moore.)

Taxi for... Dean Wells. It was certainly a novel move on Stevenage's part to place a convicted football hooligan in their squad and tonight the defender came up against the team whose fans he'd fought outside Liverpool Street Station in 2010. It seemed, however, that without his firm to back him up, Wells the Hooligan was all mouth and no Stone Island trousers. With the might of Ollie Palmer bearing down on him in injury-time he ran for cover, stumbled over then lay on the ground trembling in fear as the Orient striker slotted the ball into the net. Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough? Oh, you're not.

In the dugout... Given that he's now selected the same XI for three League games running, it would be easy to describe Ian Hendon as the polar opposite of Fabio Liverani. But then again, it would be easy to describe anyone with even the faintest notion that football is a sport in which eleven players try to get a ball into their opponents' net the polar opposite to Fabio Liverani. What is evidently true is that the new manager has engendered a team spirit and has got the squad enjoying playing football. Something that only the most depraved of masochists could have said of last season.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Respect to Pór Bæring Ólafsson for travelling all the way from Iceland – the country, not the shop – to watch his beloved Leyton Orient. He got to meet Francesco Becchetti, but it wasn't all bad because Pór also rubbed shoulders with Paul McCallum and witnessed the Os in superb form. What a top geyser. (Yeah, sorry, my Iceland material is pretty limited.)

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