01 April 2017

Leyton Orient 0 Wycombe Wanderers 2, 1/4/17

A game in which... opposition fans sung "Stand up for the Orient"; a group of home supporters broke into the gantry to unfurl a banner proclaiming "Bollocks"; and local mechanic Errol McKellar fulfilled assistant manager duties in the dugout for the second half. So far so surreal.


What next: Rowan Liburd applauded off the pitch after a man-of-the-match performance? Yes, actually, because this is the end of days at Brisbane Road thanks to that potent combination of incompetency, egomania, spite and Valpolicella that swims around in the brain of our esteemed president.

It was an emotional day: the tragic death of fan Frankie Bish – "Mr Orient" – on Thursday turning the dark clouds already hanging over the club to pitch black. As always of late, the players gave it everything – despite not being paid this month – and even started the game pretty brightly.


The early sending off meant Orient's prospect of defeat moved from "cast-iron certainty" to "inevitable" – not that it really matters when the very existence of the club is at stake.

But what was evident today from the defiant chants and the heartfelt stadium-wide ovation in memory of Frankie was that the soul of Leyton Orient is strong – and that's the one thing the anti-Midas touch of Francesco Becchetti can't destroy.

Jump off your seat moment... The moment some wag in the backroom staff put Jens Janse's name on the team sheet as an April Fool's prank, only for it to catastrophically backfire after no one remembered to take him off it again and the missing Dutchman actually turned up on the pitch.

Taxi for... Charles Breakspear for red-carding Tom Parkes for a borderline foul on Wycombe's Garry Thompson. Given Orient's perilous state it was a decision that suggests the referee's hobbies outside of the game might include the illegal hunting of near-extinct species and kicking cripples.

In the dug out... A while back I joked that the next manager of Leyton Orient would be Ada the kit man. We aren't that far off that becoming a reality since Becchetti's relentless snipering of his own gaffers has taken us down to the bare bones of the club's coaching staff.


Omer Riza – dressed like a self-conscious dinner guest who'd mistakenly believed the dress code to be smart casual rather than black-tie – was the latest to drink from the poison chalice of Leyton Orient management.

He no doubt created some sort of future Trivial Pursuit question by getting himself sent off 45 minutes into his debut, leaving it to youth coach Frederico Morais (with the help of the aforementioned Errol McKellar) to attempt the footballing equivalent of trying to extinguish a volcano with a water pistol in the second half.

And credit to these loyal professionals and the many others still trying to keep our club afloat – and support their own families – despite not being actually paid this month by the billionaire Francesco Becchetti. This latest act by the president is a true measure of the man.

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