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21/09 Orient 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
Leyton Orient 1 Grimsby Town 0
21 Sep 1999, League Cup
The positive aspects of Town's second half performance were ..........nothing. Black hit the bar with a free kick from 20 yards in the last minute; Lester crossed across the face of goal with Black chugging after the ball;and Ashcroft was set free after a one-two with Lester (who produced a Reesian back heel) with just the 'keeper to beat. Ashcroft passed it 2 yards high and wide. Apart from those "moments" Town did not get into the Orient penalt area.
On the other hand Orient pressed, especially down the Town left and had 7 or 8 shots across goal, with Coyne having to make 3 or 4 saves. Black's defending was comically awful at times, with him attempting to hold on to an attacker but not being strong enough and being dragged along for the ride.
The ephemeral Pouton was replaced by Burnett with 15 minutes left. Unfortunately for Burnett not one Town player was bothering to move by the time he arrived, so all he could do was a "Blackian Piroutte" and sideways pass to Coldicott. Allen came on for the atrocious Ashcroft in the last 5 minutes. Now Mr Ashcroft got worse as the game went on, with none of his flicks and tricks paying off. Perhaps the Club shop could raise revenue by introducing a range of Ashcroft dolls - "My Little Showpony". Lester wasn't bothered. Donovan was anonymous even by his own standards. His two most amusing contributions were a full pace nutmeg of himself in the first half (where he completed the Chaplinesque humour by also falling over) and when he burst into the area playing a one-two with Ashcroft, who then passed it behind him to set up an Orient attack. Black was the subject of crowd sarcasm - every time he got the ball he turned round and passed it back, to huge ironic cheer/jeers of appreciation.
Orient were poorer than Carlisle, but then so was the Town players' attitude. There was almost a palpable sense of contempt from the Town players for the opposition, but then that translated into a lazy, almost incompetent performance. And that shows contempt for the supporters
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