30 September 2019

Leyton Orient 3 Port Vale 3, 28/9/19

A game which... began with a miracle right up there with feeding the five thousand, the raising of Lazarus and the 1848 apparition of the Lady of Lourdes: namely that Port Vale's defence appeared to be actually worse than ours. "Hold our beers" said the Orient back five as they set about undoing this celestial aberration by conceding two typically calamitous goals and ensuring the team went into the break 2-1 down.



Something was clearly said at half-time, that something being "Get in the shower Ekpiteta you donkey, you're off" and the Os reverted to 4-4-2 and some semblance of balance. Well, at least Port Vale weren't getting in behind our "wing backs" – and, yes I am making quotation marks in the air right now with a sarcastic look on my face – quite as often.

There was also a lot more attacking intent and impetus, which is nice to see – well done – not least because it's now clear that we're going to need to score at least three goals to even get a point in every game from here on...

Moment of magic... An absolute banger of a goal from Conor Wilkinson who I might have accidentally said had no end product last week. In fact the former Dagenham and Redbridge man is showing increasing evidence that he might actually be quite good, also setting up the O's opener with a delightfully-placed cross. He needs to be careful though: if he starts to put in a decent shift and score a lot of goals then a large proportion of Orient fans will demand that he is dropped, as is our quaint tradition.

Praise be... Did you see Josh Wright's attempted bicycle kick in the second half? Well, I say bicycle but perhaps broken scooter doused in petrol then set ablaze and thrown into a canal might better describe his affront to the art of acrobatic goal attempts. Aside from that a good day's work – two goals and a few telling interventions – from the Essex Exocet, as he's known to no one.



Taxi for... Craig Clay. And I obviously write this with great regret because I put my heart and soul into supporting that guy last season and didn't even slag him off once apart from one time at the start of the campaign when I made him the punchline of a cheap joke about Charlie Lee. So let's try to be calm and balanced about his display against Port Vale and simply say it was the worst performance by any sportsperson in any sport in all of time.

In the dugout... The crowd sung Ross Embleton's name at the conclusion of the game, which is some achievement since it's a name syllably-inconsistent with most traditional football chants. No matter: Ross deserves it for taking on a role he never aspired to at a time of great emotional distress for the club. He is a man of dignity, integrity and total professionalism and should continue to command the highest respect among our fans. That said, employing the failed 5-3-2 formation again – what a twat.

Are we going to be relegated? Well, let me put it this way: has a team that concedes at least two goals every game ever stayed up? I have literally no idea what the answer to that is so feel free to hit me up with some stats if you're Neilson Kaufman. I should say that there was enough in the second half to give me faith we'll avoid the drop: Conor Wilkinson's increasing influence; George Marsh's maturity in midfield; Jordan Maguire-Drew's peach of a cross for the last-minute equaliser; and Matt Harrold's all-round gingerness. It's going to be a bumpy ride though, isn't it?

Meanwhile on Soccer A.M.... 



Ross Embleton: Right lads, we're on You Know The Drill this week. We need two volunteers - first come first served. Who's up for showing what skilled players we have at the club?
Conor Wilkinson: I'm in gaffer!
RE: Nice one Sargent Wilko. Anyone else?
James Alabi: Me too gaffer!
RE: .... ... ... ... Anyone else?
JA: You said first come first served
RE: I think I said we'd draw names out of a hat
JA: No, you said first come first served gaffer. It was like three seconds ago.
RE: You know it's a shooting drill James?
JA: My speciality!
RE: 
JA: I mean my speciality compared to say goalkeeping or embroidery
RE: Just try not to embarrass us James
JA: Message received and understood gaffer...

Watch what happened here: https://twitter.com/SoccerAM/status/1178248766626902022 

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