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21/09 Orient 1st Half
By: Tony Butcher
Leyton Orient 1 Grimsby Town 0
21 Sep 1999, League Cup
Clear, warm evening with a massive crowd of 1,036. About 150 Town supporters who would have won the best dressed supporters award, over half were wearing suit and ties. Sartorial elegance from the faithful, and nice to see so many sensible ties.
For the first 20 minutes it was like an exhibition match, with Town having 7 "efforts" on goal. The Orient defence was easily ripped apart and, predictably, Town managed to miss the target. Ashcroft hit over from 10 yards, Black wide from 20 yards, Black hit a loose ball straight at a defender on the line, Lester shot wide a couple of time. All these chances were created by passing and movement. After 20ish minutes (when Lester lost a challenge feebly) the ball was whacked forward, leaving an attacker a free run on goal. He took the ball wide of Coyne and, from a narrow angle, scooped the ball against the bar. The ball fell to another attacker who hit the the ball against Groves' bottom from 2 yards. From the resulting corner Coyne punched the ball against the angle of post and bar. From that moment on Town were useless.
Orient's "chances" in the first half were a free kick hit wide, and in the last minute of the half another free kick which hit the post, with the rebound falling to WATTS about 7 yards out, who put it in. And then it was half time.
The half time announcer gave out some extremely dubious statistics for the first half, claiming Orient had 7 shots, 6 on target; with Town having 6 shots and only 1 on target (that bit was accurate and could have been scripted before the game). We assumed that Orient had played their Joker on some of those shots, or they were counting misplaced crosses as shots on target.
Half time: Leyton Orient 1 Grimsby Town 0
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