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18/09 Leyton Orient 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time. Oh look, they have a courgette at centre back. La-di-da-di-da. Seen any good films lately?
Grimsby Town 2 Leyton Orient 0
What were the Oâ€™s up to? Still piling the ball forward, barging and bunching, winning more throw ins. Yes, Iâ€™m as bored as you by those words. A shot wide excited the away fans, not us. From outside the area it went two yards wide of Williamsâ€™ left hand post. Youâ€™d have to be sat in the Main Stand to get worried by that. Then again, they â€˜d get worried by the rising price of Windowlene. Orient did lots of crosses, the Town defence did lots of headers, and Williams even came off his line to catch it a few times. Reddy had a bit of a second wind in the last 15 minutes, perhaps heâ€™d had Greg Youngâ€™s pre-match meal. Reddy rolled around the left a bit, surging past the leaden-footed defenders, getting into the box, seeing no support and falling over. And again, another Reddy break. Along the bye-line, towards goal, infield, down he went, up went to the Town fans. Penalty? No, Parkinson tripped him, the ref wasnâ€™t that bad.
Iâ€™ll just take this lull in proceedings to mention Macca again. Several raids down the right, persistent crossing and the perennial problem of lack of strikers in the area. And letâ€™s have a go at the linesman. With Macca set free behind the defence, the linesman flagged for offside when McD was at least three yards on side. Macca had run from behind the linesman, who was level with the last defender. A dreadful decision for which the crowd made a suitable noise.
In the last few minutes Orient were camped out in the Town half, bombarding the Town goal with high crosses. Williams flapped one behind for a corner, and a whole series of corners and throw ins followed. The Town defence looked solid, unflappable and unbreachable. I wrote too soon. A ludicrous decision by the referee gave Orient a free kick on their left just outside the penalty area near the bye-line. It was awarded against McDermott when Scott had tried to flick the ball past McD. Doesnâ€™t the referee know who he is? Itâ€™s Macca, he never fouls, he is fragrant. The free kick was zoomed beyond the far post. Williams shuffled across to catch it but one of the big bruisers barged into him. A free kick surely? No, a corner given and from the corner Williams made a brilliant save, pushing away a near post header low to his left. The loose ball was wellied up field to Reddy on the half way line, on the left. Reddy fought off a defender, outsprinted him and raced goalwards. Onwards in to the area and a whole lotta shakinâ€™ going on around Harrisonâ€™s knees. Simpson hared back and stood between Reddy and goal about 10 yards out, just wide of goal. Reddy tapped the ball past Simpson and ran into the outstretched knee. Penalty!
Who to take it? Gordon of course, heâ€™d said so after the Wycombe debacle, hadnâ€™t he. Err, oooh, Pinault picked up the ball and strode across to the penalty spot. Gordon marched after him. They then had a furious argument with both tapping their own chests and pointing at the ball. It was hilarious really, with Pinault gallicly shrugging Gordon, the mild mannered janitor, away. What were they saying? Perhaps the Â£50 goal bonus was really vital to them. Maybe itâ€™s Pinaultâ€™s motherâ€™s birthday and he needs it to buy her a present. Perhaps one of them is taking a lady out to a sophisticated local restaurant, one where the bread and butter isnâ€™t included in the price. Or maybe Pinault couldnâ€™t stand the thought of being joint top scorer with Crowe. PINAULT took two steps and curled the ball into the right side netting as Harrison lunged left. Game over, except for the two minutes of piddling about waiting for the referee to officially end this so-called football match.
There you are, a far from vintage performance, but it was a bit better than against Rochdale, in that at least three players had some gumption going forward. The opposition was similarly lacking in wit, similarly basic and limited in both ambition and individual skill. Fortunately for Town their only decent looking player, Carlisle, was taken off with 25 minutes left. The best Town players were the defenders. Donâ€™t kid yourselves into thinking that this must mean Orient were impressive; it is merely that they didnâ€™t have any particular threat because of the competence of the Town players. Donâ€™t kid yourselves that Townâ€™s front three were anything to write home about. Sestanovich looked like a heavyweight boxer trying to foxtrot, whilst Parkinson had a day where everything went wrong. If it was 1978 Iâ€™d say it was his biorhythms out of synch.
Still, a win is a win, and winning whilst not playing well is better than humiliating teams and losing. All one could say about this game is that both teams were in false positions at the start of play
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Three candidates, all from the back line. Forbes was most assured, Mr Cool at the back, with simple but effective distribution. He lamped it long when needed, passed when required. McDermott was superb, the only Town threat in attack with his metronomic marauding, and his old self in defence - defending without tackling, the lost art. But, and only just (we had to have six recounts) Mr Dean Gordon was exemplary again. He stopped them and started us. His crossfield passing was magnificent and in some ways it is embarrassing that heâ€™s playing fourth division football. He even trod on the ball with glamorous grace.
K Wright. Seemed to take agin the moaning bargers of old London Town, though not enough to flash his cards. He really should have done something about their number 11 in particular. There were a few bizarre decisions, but nothing that hurt us too much, so how to score? Distinctly average, so 5.0293. And why not?
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