02 September 2015

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Luton Town 2 Leyton Orient 1, 1/9/15

These two were on the bench for Orient
A game which... Ian Hendon did everything in his power to lose. He wore a tracksuit; he selected a bench made of up three 11-year-olds and two unfortunate holidaymakers who'd got lost on the way to Luton Airport; he played Bradley Pritchard at left midfield for part of the game; he deliberately substituted off all his reliable penalty-takers when the game was level at 85 minutes... And yet still Luton wouldn't take the bait until they guaranteed themselves victory by going down to 10 men.

So, Operation Concentrate On The League ended perfectly for Orient. And while for obvious reasons it wasn't our most fluid performance of the season, there were also some encouraging moments from this makeshift, youthful team.

Jump off your seat moment... The moment in the first half when Luton's creaking behemoth of a centre back Stephen McNulty tried to shepherd the ball back to his keeper only for Scott Kashket to dart in front of him and nearly steal a goal. Indeed, the battle between the pair throughout the game was reminiscent of an ageing rhinoceros trying to lazily swat an irritatingly persistent dung beetle with his tail. What I'm saying here – the dung beetle comparison notwithstanding – is that Kashket was pretty good.

Give that man a medal... Since Joe Maguire only signed on loan from Liverpool yesterday, he obviously didn't get the secret memo from Ian Hendon that spelled out in morse code: "WE MUST LOSE THIS GAME BUT MAKE IT LOOK A BIT LIKE WE AT LEAST TRIED TO WIN BECAUSE I THINK IT'S ILLEGAL TO THROW GAMES." What else could explain the fact he actually looked pretty assured in central defence?

Jack Marriott: princess
Quiz question... If you're a professional footballer who's just missed a point blank header in front of the opposition fans, who then mildly goad you, do you: a) ignore them, being that you're a professional footballer b) ignore them, being that you're a professional footballer, then score your next chance to shut them up or c) sarcastically applaud them, stick your middle finger up then get sent off? If you answered c) then you're Jack Marriott, in which case what the hell are you doing reading this blog? You should be out doing things more consistent with your apparent level of maturity, such as playing peek-a-boo or dressing up as a princess from Frozen.

In the dugout... According to Ian Hendon, a number of players were taken ill before and during this game, including Sean Clohessy who came off at half-time. Did someone spike Orient's traditional pre-match meal of a massive fry up at a greasy spoon cafe? Did someone (other than Ian Hendon and every single Orient fan) want the Os to lose at any cost? I do not know the answers to these questions, but I did see Andy Hessenthaler buying 37 packets of laxatives at a chemist on Leyton High Road earlier in the day. You do the math.

A "club source" pens news of Jack Payne's
impending signing back in 1843
Meanwhile on Twitter... "Football. Bloody hell," said Sir Alex Ferguson once of the unpredictability of our beloved sport. And given that we never quite know what's around the corner it probably makes sense not to promise to tattoo your own face if a certain player signs for your club. Or similarly, best not pledge to "shit in your own hands and clap" as Dan Slawinski did when the Jack Payne to Orient rumours began back in the year 1843. Jack: welcome to Orient. Dan: hope you've got some strong detergent.

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